The energy-balance method for optimal control in renewable energy applications

Chris Guiver, Mark Opmeer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A theoretical method is presented, called the energy-balance method, for maximising the energy extracted from a renewable energy converter in terms of determination of an optimal control. The method applies to control systems specified by linear graphs, and graph-theoretic techniques are employed. The method simplifies a number of optimal control problems by essentially expressing the performance objective — maximising energy extraction — in terms of an equivalent objective involving fewer variables, thereby reducing the complexity of the optimisation. As illustrated, in certain cases the optimal control problem may be reduced to one solvable by elementary calculus techniques. The theory is illustrated with examples from solar, wave and wind applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100582
Number of pages19
JournalRenewable Energy Focus
Early online date30 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 May 2024


  • Linear graph modelling
  • Optimal control
  • Photovoltaic (PV) solar energy
  • Wave energy
  • Wind energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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