Assessment of Electrical Power Generation of Wave Energy Converters with Wave-to-wire Modeling

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Direct drive wave energy converter (WEC) and buoy control algorithms have shown great potential for renewable wave energy extraction in ideal conditions. However, the actual power take-off (PTO) impacts are barely considered in the WEC design. This paper highlights the demands relating to the ideal buoy control schemes design and the feasibility of the actual PTO implementations. A permanent magnet linear electrical machine (LEM) PTO unit is simulated and controlled to fulfill the WEC buoy control requirements. Several control algorithms, which includes singular arc control, shape-based control, model predictive control and proportional-derivative control, are applied to maximize the wave energy production (mechanical energy). Constrained and unconstrained electrical PTOs are both implemented to evaluate the power production performances. Further, the power loss model of the electrical circuit model is introduced and studied to improve the electrical PTO operation efficiency. Lastly, LEM and inverter efficiency maps are implemented and the energy production results are evaluated. Numerical simulations are conducted using MATLAB/Simulink and the Simscape toolbox. The results show the constrained controls can produce more energy with limited PTOs due to the limited stroke, and the possible solutions for increasing the PTO operation efficiency are also provided.

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IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy