Panel Name

Innovations in Atmospheric and Climate Change Research and Reporting

Location

Lecture Center Concourse

Start Date

3-5-2019 3:00 PM

End Date

3-5-2019 5:00 PM

Presentation Type

Poster Session

Academic Major

Environmental Science, Mathematics

Abstract

Oscillating Water Column (OWC) systems are an iteration of terminator ocean energy technology which generate electrical energy from turbine torque induced by the compression of air in a chamber from changing water level height. OWCs are a well-established technology, however, there have been no studies to date which quantify the life cycle environmental impacts of these systems in a geographic context. The goal of this study is to optimally size an OWC system for selected New England coastline sites and then assess the environmental impacts of the varying system sizes.

An OWC system is optimally sized when the volume of its concrete chamber is scaled proportionally to its generation potential; maximizing electrical energy output while minimizing chamber material consumption. Therefore, geospatial variability in generation potential will affect optimized chamber size, in turn, varying the chamber material consumption. A sample size of 6,775 shoreline sites returned average generation potentials ranging from a maximum of 6.24 kW m-1 of wave crest to a minimum of 0.31 kW m-1 of wave crest for every 100 km of coastal length.

This study revealed high variability in estimated energy generation potential over a short geographical span and, therefore, high variability in chamber material consumption between 115.08 m3 - 2132.33 m3 of concrete. These findings emphasize the necessity of quantifying the life cycle climate change impacts of OWC installations prior to design at a national level, as they vary geographically and are influenced by the optimal chamber size and wave power potential.

Select Where This Work Originated From

Departmental Honors Thesis

First Faculty Advisor

Marie-Odile Fortier

First Advisor Email

mfortier2@ucmerced.edu

First Advisor Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

The work you will be presenting can best be described as

Finished or mostly finished by conference date

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May 3rd, 3:00 PM May 3rd, 5:00 PM

Geospatial Energy Potential and Life Cycle Assessment of Nearshore Oscillating Water Column Systems

Lecture Center Concourse

Oscillating Water Column (OWC) systems are an iteration of terminator ocean energy technology which generate electrical energy from turbine torque induced by the compression of air in a chamber from changing water level height. OWCs are a well-established technology, however, there have been no studies to date which quantify the life cycle environmental impacts of these systems in a geographic context. The goal of this study is to optimally size an OWC system for selected New England coastline sites and then assess the environmental impacts of the varying system sizes.

An OWC system is optimally sized when the volume of its concrete chamber is scaled proportionally to its generation potential; maximizing electrical energy output while minimizing chamber material consumption. Therefore, geospatial variability in generation potential will affect optimized chamber size, in turn, varying the chamber material consumption. A sample size of 6,775 shoreline sites returned average generation potentials ranging from a maximum of 6.24 kW m-1 of wave crest to a minimum of 0.31 kW m-1 of wave crest for every 100 km of coastal length.

This study revealed high variability in estimated energy generation potential over a short geographical span and, therefore, high variability in chamber material consumption between 115.08 m3 - 2132.33 m3 of concrete. These findings emphasize the necessity of quantifying the life cycle climate change impacts of OWC installations prior to design at a national level, as they vary geographically and are influenced by the optimal chamber size and wave power potential.