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California Wave Energy Resource Evaluation

[+] Author Affiliations
James H. Wilson

Planning Systems, Inc., San Diego, CA

Asfaw Beyene

San Diego State University, San Diego, CA

Paper No. OMAE2007-29619, pp. 549-562; 14 pages
  • ASME 2007 26th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 5: Ocean Space Utilization; Polar and Arctic Sciences and Technology; The Robert Dean Symposium on Coastal and Ocean Engineering; Special Symposium on Offshore Renewable Energy
  • San Diego, California, USA, June 10–15, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4271-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3799-8
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


In this paper, a collection of deep water (>100 m) wave records was assessed to create a long-term, statistically reliable data set. These wave data were derived from the Coastal Information Data Program (CDIP) Buoy Data from UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography, National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) Buoy Data from NOAA, and other sources. From this data set, long-term annual averages and monthly wave probability distributions were analyzed for ten one degree latitude bins bounded by the 100 m and 1000 m depth contours seaward of the California coast. The probability distributions were used to quantify the potential for useful electricity extraction from the coastal wave of California. Optimal locations for developing wave energy installations are specified. The California coast north of Point Conception has an ideal wave resource for the generation of electricity from wave energy. South of Point Conception the wave energy arriving from North Pacific storms is efficiently blocked by the significant change in California coast orientation south of Point Conception and the Channel Islands. The near coastal Southern California (SOCAL) region has a significantly reduced wave resource compared to the California coast north of Pont Conception. Factors impacting the status of ocean wave energy technologies and their development are also discussed. Applicability of the wave statistical results is critical to determine the average “wave to wire” efficiency for the many different types of wave energy converter (WEC) technologies that exist in many different states of commercial development.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME
Topics: Wave energy



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