Studying Mooring of Wave Energy Systems using scaled Field Trials

Studying Mooring of Wave Energy Systems Using scaled Field Trials

Status: Complete


  • Ryan Beemer
    Postdoctoral Research Associate, Centre for Offshore Foundation System, UWA
  • Shiaohuey Chow
    Research Fellow, Oceans Graduate School, UWA
  • Fiona Chow
    Adjunct Professor, Centre for Offshore Foundation System, UWA


  • Alex Verth
  • Lucia Zang
  • Rosemary Bradley

Project Description

This multidisciplinary project utilised the Swan River as a model wave basin, where field tests of a model scale wave energy system (floating buoy + mooring + anchor) were performed. The field trials involved a cylindrical wave buoy, taut-moored by a steel spring and a stiff mooring line to an anchor in two test locations (Como and JoJo Jetty). The buoy-spring system was designed to resonate at approximately 1.15 Hz, which is within the high-frequency tail of a spectrum of typical wind generated waves in the Swan River. The buoy-spring system was taut-moored to a dynamically installed anchor at Como (clayey  sediment) and a gravity based foundation at JoJo Jetty (sandy sediment) respectively.               

The installation and capacity of the dynamically installed anchor in mooring the taut model wave energy system was assessed to be consistent with existing studies. Given wave conditions, the heave motion of the wave buoy can also be accurately predicted. The successful implementation of the field test concept has led to a follow-on project to investigate the performance of other anchoring solution, i.e. suction caisson under realistic wave loading.