Abstract

Electric energy is a resource that allows social development and the improvement of the quality of life of the inhabitants in the cove “La ballenita”, Mollendo, coast of Arequipa, Peru, where the electrical energy of the main network is not available.

The energy demand is approximately 1 kWh, which will allow provide enough energy to improve the quality of life, as well as the use of communications and food preservation. The use of supplementary energy sources such as a conventional generator set is economically and environmentally unfeasible at the site. The objective of the present study was to demonstrate that this problem can be solved by taking advantage of the geographical conditions. Since the area in question is near the ocean where maritime conditions would allow to solve this problem using a wave energy converter designed with the Water Energy Column method.

Wave energy is a viable alternative, with an initial investment you will have access to almost free and self-sustainable energy sufficient for the required needs, to achieve this it must be proven that the maritime conditions are adequate. Wave energy represents 295,000 TWh worldwide, but it has been poorly developed.

The first stage of the research was to demonstrate that the tidal conditions are suitable for power generation, the marine weather forecast system based on BUOYWEATHER points (data which covers a large geographic area) was used to validate the information obtained from records of the area where a measuring equipment was designed and manufactured.

This measurement prototype was designed and built to measure the wave variables that would be the basis of the Water Energy Column method. Data from 2018 were used for the study, which allowed to determine the critical wave which is the basis of calculation in the Water Energy Column method.

The measurement results showed that it is possible to generate electrical energy using wave energy in the study area by the Water Energy Column method. The nominal power of the design is more than 1 kW, the capacity factor of the system obtained is 15.67% and the LCOE (levelized cost of energy) is $ 0.11 / kWh, which means a feasible price in the electricity market. This cost represents the investment and low maintenance of operation. According to the CONESA impact method this value for the study is 25, which suggests a low environmental impact with some additional recommendations.

The contribution of the research would allow reducing the growth of hydrocarbon consumption which represents 78.3% of energy use worldwide and is a fundamental cause of the planet’s environmental problems and prove that the development of techniques for the use of energy is an alternative necessary.

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