Site selection for scaled open water testing of a wave energy converter

  • Niall D. McLean Wave Energy Scotland
  • Matthew A. Holland Wave Energy Scotland
  • Ruairi D. Maciver Wave Energy Scotland
  • Elva B. Bannon
Keywords: Site selection, Wave energy converter (WEC), Scale model testing, Open water testing


Many wave energy converter developers opt to carry out scaled prototype open water testing of their device as part of their technology development. Developers who have done this recently include Sea Power (1/5 scale, Galway Bay, 2017), CorPower (1/4 scale, EMEC, 2018) and Marine Power Systems (1/4 scale, FaBTest, ongoing). Scaled open water testing offers several benefits, including more representative realisations of sub-systems, identification and resolution of technological issues associated with scaling-up, and de-risking the manufacturing and marine operational procedures ahead of commercial-scale testing. In preparation for testing in Stage 3 of the Novel Wave Energy Converter programme, Wave Energy Scotland has considered requirements of a suitable scaled open water site and the methods for selection. In common with commercial site identification, this must consider operational infrastructure, time and funding constraints, and the appropriateness of site characteristics. This appropriateness is further complicated by the need to find a site of comparable scaled water depth and where the sea-states of interest (when scaled to full-scale) are likely to occur with sufficient frequency over the duration of the intended testing campaign. This paper presents an approach, and its associated assumptions, to identify locations which have the potential to satisfy the scaled open water site considerations, before discussing the challenges to satisfy the critical testing outcomes, and the pragmatism required to meet all requirements.

How to Cite
McLean, N., Holland, M., Maciver, R., & Bannon, E. (2020). Site selection for scaled open water testing of a wave energy converter. International Marine Energy Journal, 3(2), 101-110.
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