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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


The most accurate wave energy converter models for heaving point absorbers include nonlinearities, which increase as resonance is achieved to maximize the energy capture. Over the power production spectrum and within the physical limits of the devices, the efficiency of wave energy converters can be enhanced by employing a control scheme that accounts for these nonlinearities. This paper proposes a sliding mode control for a heaving point absorber that includes the nonlinear effects of the dynamic and static Froude‐Krylov forces. The sliding mode controller tracks a reference velocity that matches the phase of the excitation force to ensure higher energy absorption. This control algorithm is tested in regular linear waves and is compared to a complex‐conjugate control and a nonlinear variation of the complex‐conjugate control. The results show that the sliding mode control successfully tracks the reference and keeps the device displacement bounded while absorbing more energy than the other control strategies. Furthermore, due to the robustness of the control law, it can also accommodate disturbances and uncertainties in the dynamic model of the wave energy converter.

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/). Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

Journal of Marine Science and Engineering

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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