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Breakwaters

Functions
o Preserve coastlines o Protect harbours and local communities o Prevent damage to building structures from waves o To dissipate wave action in the harbour

Types
o Rubble Mound Breakwaters Rubble mound breakwaters are comprised of varying densities of stone, and generally consist of a core central layer, a middle layer and an outer armoury, which may be manmade or natural. They tend to have a highly dissipative effect on wave energy, which is attributed to their steeply sloped external faces. Disadvantages The cost is too great because the water is too deep The environmental degradation resulting from marina development is unacceptable

o Caisson Breakwaters The caisson breakwater is comprised of a series of rectangular, box-like structures. They are constructed of concrete or other man-made materials. These structures generally need to be piled deeply into the seabed to stabilize their vertical position; thus, they tend to be more costly than rubble mound breakwaters. Caisson breakwaters are more vulnerable to high intensity wave regimes than rubble mound breakwaters because of their vertical profile.

o Floating Breakwaters Floating, or submerged, breakwaters are used where it is only necessary to partially reduce wave heights, as they sit on the surface of the water or beneath it. They entail an appreciably lower cost than the other two types, and they affect sediment transport minimally. However, this type of breakwater is susceptible to destruction by extremely high energy waves. An incident wave approaches the breakwater. Part of the energy contained in the incident wave is reflected, part passes beneath the breakwater, and some is lost through dissipation. Another part of the incident wave energy excites the motions of the breakwater. These motions are restrained by the mooring system. The oscillating breakwater in turn generates waves which travel away from the breakwater in the direction of the reflected and transmitted waves. The total transmitted wave is the sum of the component which passes beneath the breakwater and the components generated by the breakwater motions. The total reflected wave is composed similarly.

Other uses of Breakwaters


o Wind turbines on breakwaters 1. Zeebrugge Harbour in Belgium was one of the first projects to combine a coastal defence with renewable power generation. Built in 1983, today there are 23 x 200 kW turbines mounted on a 1.4 km rubble mound breakwater, owned by Interelectra and producing 6,185 MWh/ year.

2. The Blyth Harbour Wind Farm in Northumberland consists of 9 x 300 kW turbines located on the rubble mound East Pier.

3. The Bonnerup Wind Park in Glesborg, Denmark, has 7 x 600 kW NEG Micon machines, also positioned on a rubble mound breakwater

o Breakwaters with Wave Energy Devices The Oscillating Water Column (OWC) is one of the most developed of all wave energy technologies. The concept, consists simply of an enclosed box, which is open to the sea below the waves and open to the air through a much smaller aperture, which also contains a turbine and generating equipment. As the waves rise and fall, they cause a corresponding rise and fall of the water column within the OWC, which alternatively pressurizes and depressurizes the air above the water column. This causes the air to flow back and forth through the small aperture, thereby powering the turbine. The slow motion of the sea surface is converted to high speed air flows which turn the turbine.

OWC technology has been combined with coastal defence structures, albeit mainly in Japan, Norway, and India at a relatively small scale. The first European wave device installation occurred in Scotland off the Isle of Islay, and utilized the Wavegen Wells turbine.

Breakwater costs
o Rubble Mound Breakwaters in General The costs of building a rubble mound breakwater is a combination of three main factors; the total height of the breakwater (below and above sea level), the required angle of incline (giving the width of the breakwater on the sea bed) and the type of stone/armour that has to be used. Because of the geometrics of the structure, increasing the crest width will not largely impact the capital cost of the breakwater while increasing the height (i.e. locating the breakwater in greater water depth) will severely increase the projects capital cost. According to KMM, greater water depth causes capital costs to rise exponentially due to the additional surface area of the breakwater at different depths.