Wave Energy Converters and Design Considerations for Gulf of Mexico

  • Kelly L. Guiberteau
  • Jim Lee
  • Yucheng Liu
  • Yangqing Dou
  • Theodore A. Kozman
Keywords: wave energy converter, Gulf of Mexico, design considerations, investigational study


This article presents an investigational study on wave energy converters (WECs) and the design considerations for possible implementation in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The types of WEC available from the market are studied first. The design considerations for implementing a WEC in GOM are then evaluated. There are several different types of devices that can be used in the system design. Each device type has different attributes that may be helpful or hurtful for the area and wave activity in the GOM. From the evaluation there is a recommendation of the optimal device design conditions, and three device types are recommended for further pursuit as design candidates. Six different WEC projects that are currently being developed and most are ready for commercial testing are examined. Our study evaluates the usefulness of the WECs for the GOM, and provides design factors of both physical and economic scaling. The result of this investigation reveals that while none of the devices can be installed “as is” in the GOM because of wave power or geometry requirements, there are some that have the potential to be modified and scaled down to fit the GOM climate.


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Author Biographies

Kelly L. Guiberteau

Kelly L. Guiberteau received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and was the lead student for the Industrial Assessment Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is currently a Graduate Research Assistant at Texas A&M University. Her research interests include energy management, integrated product and process design, and wave energy. Email: kguiberteau@gmail.com

Jim Lee

Jim Lee is Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Program Coordinator of Systems Engineering at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial and Management Engineering from the University of Iowa. His research areas include simulation, statistical analysis, decision support systems, and computerintegrated production systems. Email: jlee@louisiana.edu

Yucheng Liu

Yucheng Liu is Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include computer modeling and simulation, structural mechanics, and alternative energy. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Louisville and he is a registered Professional Engineer and holds active membership in ASME, SAE, and ASEE. Email: yxl5763@louisiana.edu

Yangqing Dou

Yangqing Dou is a Ph. D. student in Mechanical Engineering at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aeronautical and astronautically engineering from Northwestern Polytechnical University. Her research interests include engineering mathematics, numerical methods, computational mechanics and fluid dynamics. Email: dxy3509@louisiana.edu

Theodore A. Kozman

Theodore A. Kozman is a Professor in Mechanical Engineering, University of Louisiana Lafayette and Director of Louisiana Industrial Assessment Center. His research areas include project management, energy management and productivity improvement. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from the University of Tennessee. Email: kozman@louisiana.edu


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