BigDataOcean platform use case: Assessment of wave resource in the coast of Portugal

BigDataOcean platform contains a large (150+ TB) repository of maritime related data, enabling different innovative services for maritime sectorial companies through a dedicated service marketplace. One of the available services is related to the assessment of wave energy potential. This post demonstrates the capabilities of the BigDataOcean platform for an assessment of wave resource potential over the coast of Portugal for two years (2017-2018).
Through the BigDataOcean marketplace (Applications and Dashboards) it is possible to access the “Wave energy resource assessment” service. This service is separated into two main components:

  • Primary energy resource assessment
  • Energy conversion assessment

This post is focused on the “Primary energy resources assessment” service. It contains four different applications that allow the user to: i) check wave conditions in a selected location; ii) check wave conditions in a selected area; iii) obtain a forecast of wave conditions for the next seven days in a selected location; and iv) perform a straightforward visualization of different wave variables from a selected dataset.
When opening the service, the user selects the application to be used. Figure 1 below demonstrates the selection of a location in the Portuguese coast, in order to perform an assessment of wave conditions. The selected dataset is an instantiation of the WW3 wave forecast model for the Portuguese Coast , run by MARETEC, which is a Portuguese research centre. As it is also shown in Figure 1, the years of 2017 and 2018 are considered in this study.

Figure 1. User’s-specifications-for-the-Wave-Resource-Assessment-single-area-service

The execution of this service allows users to quickly obtain important information related to wave behavior in the selected area, which can then be considered for further studies. The table below indicates some metrics related to the obtained wave conditions.

In addition to these metrics, the BigDataOcean platform provides other important results such as the occurrence matrix, a time-series graph of the available wave power and a monthly average also for the available wave power, in addition to a power histogram. Some examples of these results are depicted in Figures 2-4.

Figure 2. Wave occurrence matrix in the selected location over the coast of Portugal (2017-2018)

Figure 3. Time-series-representation-for-available-wave-power-during-2017-and-2018

Figure 4. Monthly availability of waves in the selected location (2017- blue and 2018- yellow)

As shown by the obtained results, waves present a seasonal behavior in the Portuguese coast. It can be seen in Figures 3 and 4 that waves have a higher energy density in winter months, when compared to summer ones. Additionally, analyzing the two consecutive winters, it can be seen that, although there are some monthly variations (comparing the same month from two years), the yearly average power is similar.
When selecting an area instead of a location, the user can obtain multiple results related to average wave conditions for the selected timeframe and area. Because the survivability of the wave energy converters is one of the main challenges in this area, maximum registered wave conditions over the selected period are also indicated. All these results are obtained through density maps for the selected area. As one example, consider the Figure 5, which depicts the average wave available power considering two years (2017-2018) in the Portuguese Coast.

Figure 5. Average wave available power in the Portuguese coast during 2017 and 2018

These are examples of services that can be offered through the BigDataOcean platform, in order to obtain a straightforward study of wave conditions in any location or area with data available. In addition to the visualization of results, the user can also download all raw data calculated for the multiple results, allowing using these data in further studies. Currently the platform allows performing studies for the Portuguese Coast only but these will be extended to other geographies soon.

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