A frequency domain hydrodynamic assessment was carried out using WAMIT on buoy type wave energy converters (WECs), constrained to move in heave only. Control of the power take-off (PTO) system has been established through real control (damping resistance only) for an isolated WEC. This fixed value has then been applied to all WECs in an array of ten devices, set out in two rows. The array has been tested in six water depths, represented by the relative water depth d/λ0, ranging from 0.25 to infinite depth, where λ0 is the resonant wavelength of an isolated WEC in infinitely deep water. Incremental reductions in water depth, result in an drop in peak q̄-factor, which was also marked with a small shift in ka. It was deemed appropriate here to re-tune the PTO settings for the different water depths.
The various interactions within the array were examined in more detail by considering the radiation forces between WECs. Results are presented, highlighting the most significant device interactions due to the variations in water depth. The growth and shift in ka of the peak forces are also evident in shallower water. Depth modified JONSWAP and Pierson-Moskowitz spectra have also been applied in order to calculate mean power production estimates for the various water depths.
For the particular array and conditions considered, there was a clear downward trend in power captured when moving into progressively shallower water. This was in part due to the reduction in total energy available in the shallower spectra, but also because the frequency of peak performance of the array has shifted significantly.