Hydrodynamic Interactions of WEC Arrays


Prof. Trevor Whittaker
Dr. Matt Folley
Dr. Paul Lamont-Kane
Dr. Louise O’Boyle
Mrs. Rachael McKee




In order to achieve commercial viability Wave Energy Converters (WECs) will need to be placed in large arrays. When devices are placed in close proximity to one another hydrodynamic interactions may exist between nearby devices. These interactions may interfere with power production either positively or negatively depending on a wide range of environmental, setup and control variables. In addition the environmental impacts due to such large scale infrastructure should be quantified.

Here at QUB, part of our ongoing research is focused on assessing the impacts of hydrodynamic array interactions alongside the development of tools and methods for completing these experiments. Investigations have been completed both physically and numerically.  Physical testing is completed using our two in-house wave tanks designed for maximisation of spatial and temporal wave homogeneity.

Numerical modelling techniques employed include frequency domain modelling, time domain modelling, Computational Fluid Dynamics to a small extent for very specific tasks as well as the spectral domain modelling technique developed at QUB.



Folley, M (ed.) 2016, Numerical modelling of wave energy converters. Elsevier Ltd.

O’Boyle, L, Elsäßer, B, Whittaker, T, 2017 “Experimental Measurement of Wave Field Variations around Wave Energy Converter Arrays.” Sustainability, vol. 9, article 70

Moore, R, Elsaesser, B & O'Boyle, L,  2016, 'Investigating Tools used to Analyse the Impact of a Wave Farm on the surrounding Wave Field' International Conference on Ocean Energy, 2016, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 23/02/2016 - 25/02/2016

Lamont-Kane, P, Folley, M & Whittaker, T , 2013, 'Investigating uncertainties in physical testing of wave energy converter arrays' Paper presented at 10th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Aalborg, Denmark, 02/09/2013 - 05/09/2013

Folley, M & Whittaker, T,  2013, 'Preliminary cross-validation of wave energy converter array interactions' Paper presented at 32nd international Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, Nantes, France, 09/06/2013 - 14/06/2013

Folley, M, Babarit, A, Child, B, Forehand, D, O'Boyle, L, Silverthorne, K, Spinneken, J, Stratigaki, V & Troch, P 2012, 'A Review of Numerical Modelling of Wave Energy Converter Arrays' Paper presented at ASME 2012 31st International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 01/07/2012 - 06/07/2012