When designing “multi-MW arrays” of Wave Energy Converters (WECs), having a low number of converters with high individual power ratings can be beneficial as the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs may be reduced. However, having converters of small dimensions or small power ratings could also be beneficial as suggested by previous works due to a reduction in material costs as compared to power production, the use of small, inexpensive vessels.
In this work, a case study investigating the optimum size of WEC for a 20MW array is performed. Analysis is carried out based on the CorPower Ocean technology. In this case study, firstly a Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) model is created. This model incorporates the latest Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) estimates for CorPower Ocean’s 250 kW prototype. Using this techno-economic model, several sizes/ratings of WEC are tested for use in a 20 MW array.
Operational Expenditure (OPEX) is calculated using two different calculation approaches in order to check its influence on final indicators. OPEX is firstly calculated as a percentage of CAPEX, previous works, and secondly using a failure-repair model, taking into account individual failures of WECs in the array. Size/rating analysis is carried out for several European locations in order to establish any dependence between site location and optimal WEC size/rating.