Sea-states are usually described by a single set of 5 parameters, no matter the actual number of wave systems they contain. We present an original numerical method to extract from directional spectra the significant systems constituting of a complex sea-state. An accurate description of the energy distribution is then given by multiple sets of parameters. We use these results to assess the wave climatology in the Bay of Biscay and to estimate the power harnessable in this area by a particular Wave Energy Converter, the SEAREV. Results show that the fine description of sea-states yields a better assessment of the instantaneous device response. The discrepancy between the classical and multi-sets descriptions show that the new one is preferable for the assessment of harnessable power and for device design.

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