Renewable Energy, Vol.161, 240-256, 2020
Numerical wave modeling for operational and survival analyses of wave energy converters at the US Navy Wave Energy Test Site in Hawaii
The US Navy Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) is currently operating three grid-connected berths off Marine Corps Base Hawaii in support of technological development through scaled-model testing and pre-commercial prototyping. The location on the east shore of Oahu is open to year-round wind waves and seasonal north swells as well as severe seas from subtropical systems and hurricanes. We have assembled a spectral wave model system comprising WAVEWATCH III and SWAN on a hierarchy of global, regional, and nearshore computational grids. With wind forcing from global forecast and reanalysis datasets as well as their regional downscaling, the system produces operational 7-day wave forecasts and a long-term hindcast. The daily forecasts, validated with real-time buoy measurements, facilitate safe deployment, operation, and retrieval of wave energy converters (WECs). The wave hindcast from 1979 to 2017 defines the intra- and inter-annual variations for statistical analysis of sea states and energy resources. Due to limited occurrences of hurricanes in Hawaii waters, their wind forcing is determined parametrically with simulated tracks from climate model downscaling. Systematic analysis of the hindcast and simulation datasets provides significant wave heights from trade winds, swells, subtropical systems, and hurricanes with return periods up to 100 years for WECs survival analysis. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.