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Life Cycle Assessment of a Wave Energy Converter
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Renewable energies had accomplish to become part of a new era in the energy development area, making people able to stop relying on fossil fuels. Nevertheless the environmental impacts of these new energy sources also require to be quantified in order to review how many benefits these new technologies have for the environment. In this project the use of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) will be implemented in order to quantify the environmental impact of wave energy, an LCA is a technique for assessing various aspects with the development of a product and its potential impact throughout a product’s life (ISO 14040, 1997). Several renewables have been assessed for their environmental impact using this tool (wind power, biofuels, photovoltaic panels, among others). This project will be focused on the study of wave power, specifically devices called point absorbers.At the beginning this thesis offers a description of the Life Cycle Assessment methodology with a brief explanation of each steps and requirements according to the ISO 14000 Standard. Later a description of different wave energy technologies is explained, along with the classification of different devices depending on its location and its form of harvesting energy. After explaining the different types available at the moment, the thesis will focus on the point absorber device and explain an approach that can be taken in order to simplify the complexity of the whole system.Once the device is fully explained the thesis approaches the methodology pursued in order to evaluate the system in terms of environmental impact in the selected category, for this case global warming. After, an evaluation of the different modules from the wave energy converter in terms of its environmental impact and choosing the best conditions in order to reduce it has being done.At the end of the thesis an economical overview of building wave energy converters is considered among its monetized cost to the environment and a comparison of this new technologies among other renewables in the market is done, in order to have an overview of the potential this type of energy can have.The main research question to be answered by this master thesis is how competitive is wave energy among other renewable technologies available at the moment. Since at the moment wave energy is in its early stages a representation of how other renewables had advanced from its early stages until today is presented, and the potential of this type of energy is evaluated in environmental and economic figures showing competitive results that can further be improved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 69 p.
Series
TRITA-IM-EX 2017:06
National Category
Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-206486OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-206486DiVA: diva2:1092837
Educational program
Master of Science - Naval Architecture
Available from: 2017-05-04 Created: 2017-05-04 Last updated: 2017-05-04Bibliographically approved

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