The U.S. Department of Energy established a reference model project to benchmark a set of marine and hydrokinetic technologies including current (tidal, open-ocean, and river) turbines and wave energy converters. The objectives of the project were to first evaluate the status of these technologies and their readiness for commercial applications. Second, to evaluate the potential cost of energy and identify cost-reduction pathways and areas where additional research could be best applied to accelerate technology development to market readiness.
This report is an addendum to SAND2013-9040: Methodology for Design and Economic Analysis of Marine Energy Conversion (MEC) Technologies and describes the experimental wave tank tests conducted during the RM3 floating-point absorber (FPA) wave energy converter study. In the RM3 project, three sets of experimental wave tank tests were conducted to study FPA wave energy converter systems during both operational and extreme sea states. The specifications are listed in Table ES-1. The first set of wave tank tests focused on a locked FPA, which did not include a power take-off system, and analyzed the hydrodynamics of an FPA during extreme wave (survival) conditions. The second and third sets of tests evaluated the FPA power output during operational wave environments. The objective of this report is to provide experimental data sets for validating numerical simulation studies of wave tank tests. The wave tank test settings, model dimensions and properties, and post-processed data sets—including the measured wave environment, hydrodynamic response, and the estimated power output—are documented.