Gower Live Wave Buoy

A Datawell directional waverider3 was deployed by the College of Engineering, Swansea University on 23rd September 2014 at 51°33'.51N, 004°51'.63W in 40m water depth (Figure 1).

The buoy was funded by the LCRI marine consortium (http://www.lcrimarine.org).

The primary purpose of this buoy is to provide measurements that quantify the wave energy resource at the site and enable assessment of the viability of electricity generation from waves in the area.

The deployment location was picked due to its proximity to a planned wave energy array site. The buoy location is also close to the Crown Estate South Wales Wave Demonstration Zone, located 13km to the ENE from the north-eastern corner of the demonstration zone area.

The type of buoy deployed is regularly used in the coastal engineering and marine renewable industries and can be considered industry standard equipment.

Measurements are taken every half hour and data packets are transmitted via SMS message. Both parameters such as significant wave height and period and spectral information are returned (Figure 2). 

GowerLive take the bi-hourly data from the LCRI wave rider and feed that data directly into their wave reporting algorithms which creates a report of the wave conditions on 4 of Gower’s most popular beaches.

Metrics like wave height, wave period, swell direction and water temperature are key indicators as to the conditions that surfers, fishermen and other sea enthusiasts will find at their favourite spot.

Figure 1.

Wave Buoy Figure 1

Here are photos of the wave buoy being deployed.

Figure 2.

Wave Buoy Figure 2

Example wave spectra showing energy (black) and direction (red) for differing wave frequencies. A narrow banded (swell) sea state is shown on the left, a wind sea state in the centre and a bimodal sea state on the right.