Hello again and happy spring!
In my last post, I talked a bit about my research on the environmental impacts of wave energy converters (WECs). In this post, I’d like to give you a few updates on how my work is progressing and where it is heading next.
I am interested in how the presence of WEC arrays will change the wave climate at the shoreline. I use a numerical model called SWAN to determine the changes in the nearshore wave height, wave direction, and wave-induced forces as a result of offshore WEC arrays. I started with an idealized coastline, with the goal of developing general conclusions on the nearshore effects of WEC arrays that could be used as guidelines in the preliminary design and development of future arrays. To do this, I simulated changes in the nearshore wave climate on generic planar beaches for a range of wave conditions, array configurations, and array locations. I am currently applying the same model to two permitted wave energy test sites along the Oregon coast, the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) North Energy Test Site (NETS) and the NNMREC South Energy Test Site (SETS) in Newport. The analyses of the SETS and NETS sites will help determine if the generalized conclusions made in the first part of the study are applicable to sites with more complicated bathymetries (underwater topographies). Additionally, these analyses will provide relevant, site-specific data that can be used in larger environmental assessments of the NETS and SETS test sites.
Things are coming along nicely, albeit a bit slower than expected. Numerical modeling is a true test of patience! Although I expected to move a bit more quickly, I did make a lot of progress this past term, and I was able to submit my first conference paper in January. The paper was accepted yesterday, which is really exciting. Additionally, I will be presenting in a few weeks at the Annual Global Marine Renewable Energy Conference (GMREC) and the Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS), a joint week-long conference in Seattle. This will be a great opportunity to meet and build connections with a range of researchers and professionals in the field, to share my current research and information on other research being conducted at OSU, and to broaden my understanding of current developments in the field of marine energy. I’m really looking forward to the conference and I’m excited for a week in Seattle!
Overall, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made this year. I just finished my last class, and I’m really excited to be able to focus exclusively on my research in the upcoming quarter. There is still a lot that needs to be done!
Thanks for reading, and enjoy spring break!