Wave energy resource assessment with improved satellite altimetry data over the Malaysian coastal sea

  • Nurul Hazrina IdrisEmail author
ICWEES2018 & IWFC2018
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Geo-environmental integration for sustainable development of water, energy, environment and society


This paper presents the assessment of wave energy resources over Malaysian seas using the improved satellite altimetry data. Instead of the standard altimetry data, the coastal altimetry products from Jason-2/PISTACH and AltiKa/PEACHI are considered to offer better estimation of significant wave height (SWH) over coastal oceans. In selecting the appropriate SWH, Jason-2/PISTACH from MLE4, Oce3 and Red3 retracking algorithms are examined, with respect to the limited data from Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler. The results in this study indicate that the Oce3 algorithm is the appropriate retracker. Unfortunately, it is only available for a Jason-2/PISTACH product, not for AltiKa/PEACHI. Therefore, this study uses the improved SWH from Red3 retracker, recorded as the second appropriate retracker, in the study of wave energy resource. The Malaysian sea is dominated by low SWH (0.5–1 m) and wave period (4–5.5 s). High wave energy during the strong monsoon season can be harvested, with wave energy during a northeast monsoon ranging from 8 to 20 kW/m, and between 4 and 5 kW/m during a southwest monsoon. Ten out of 14 zones are recorded as high energy zones, producing the energy storage more than 40 MW h/m. The Malaysian sea has a potential of continuous wave energy throughout the year from the variability of SWH exceeding the minimum requirement of SWH for several wave energy converters (e.g. C5 Wave Star) to be operated.


Satellite altimetry Retracked significant wave height Waveform retracking Wave energy Malaysian sea 



We would like to acknowledge the AVISO data teams for kindly providing Jason-2 and AltiKa data, and the Department of Meteorological Malaysia for providing the ADCP buoys data.

Funding information

The research is financially supported by the UTM-RUG Tier 1 (Vot 17H59), Ministry of Education Malaysia.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geoinformation, Faculty of Built Environment and SurveyingUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohor BahruMalaysia
  2. 2.Geoscience and Digital Earth Centre, Research Institute for Sustainability and EnvironmentUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohor BahruMalaysia

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