Elsevier
Renewable Energy

Highlights

Climatological wave power along the Chilean coast from validated modeled data.

Generating regions of swell climate for along Chile are determined.

High-resolution wave model is constructed for offshore of Chiloé island.

Spatial distribution for wave energy offshore of Chiloé island is assessed.

Abstract

Located at the western border of South America, Chile lacks appreciable reservoirs of fossil fuels, and has begun an effort for developing renewable energies. As the wave power increases to the south, and the southern border of the Chilean Interconnected electrical network lies by 40°S, the zone around Chiloé Island represents a unique opportunity for harvesting wave energy. Using results from a 20-year global numerical wave model we assessed the wave power and its variability for the Chilean coast, and we determined the sources of the swell arriving to the coast. Wave power and wave arriving direction increased rather steadily from 25 kW/m and SW at the northern Chile (∼18°S) to 100 kW/m and W near the south (∼54°S). A validated high resolution wave model was developed for the ocean around Chiloé Island. Determination of wave generation zones allows foreseeing a potentially accurate forecast of wave energy for this area. Total wave power along 10% of the coastline of Chiloé Island is of around 1800 MW–720 MW during the year. We postulate that wave energy harvesting could fulfill the electricity needs at the remote regions of Southern Chile.

Keywords

Wave power

Chile

Non conventional renewable energies

Marine resource assessment

Numerical modeling

Swell generating regions

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