Strategies for active tuning of Wave Energy Converter hydraulic power take-off mechanisms

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This paper presents a study of practically implementable active tuning methods
for a Wave Energy Converter (WEC) power take-off (PTO). It is distinguished from other simulation studies by the level of detail and realism in the inputs and the PTO model. Wave data recorded at the European Marine Energy Centre is used to derive input data for a detailed component level model of a hydraulic PTO. A methodology is presented for obtaining the optimum PTO damping co-efficient for a given sea state, and an open loop active tuning method is used to adjust the PTO parameters to achieve this optimum damping in service. The investigation shows that tuning of a hydraulic PTO to an estimated wave frequency is a difficult task due to sea state estimation errors and the complex dynamics of a realistic PTO. Preview knowledge of the future waves was shown to provide no meaningful improvement in energy capture for the device under investigation. Significantly, power gains observed in similar work using simplified linear PTO models or simplified sea states are not seen here, demonstrating that over-simplification of the PTO during the simulation phase of WEC development could lead to incorrect design decisions and subsequent additional delay and cost.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-47
Number of pages15
JournalRenewable Energy
Early online date21 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


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