Evaluation of Hycom as a Tool for Ocean Current Energy Assessment
VanSwieten, James H.
Alsenas, Gabriel M.
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This paper provides a global ocean circulation model based world-wide assessment of two flow characteristics and presents a direct comparison between model based predictions and in situ measurements in two regions. Four years (2009-2012) of HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM)-generated data were used to estimate the average kinetic energy flux and flow direction variability in eight regions with time-averaged power density of at least 500 W/m². A direct comparison was then made between model calculated flow statistics those calculated from Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler data in both South Africa and the Southeast United States. Included analysis and discussion is intended to provide model predictions of the ocean current resource and assess the accuracy that can be expected when this model is used for making these predictions. This paper focuses on model predicted kinetic energy flux, flow speeds, and current direction variability, as these are important to the development and installation of OCT devices.