Model Predictive and Integral Error Tracking Control of a Vertical Axis Pendulum Wave Energy Converter


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By actively controlling the rotation of its pendulum, a vertical axis pendulum wave energy converter can generate significantly more net electricity from ocean waves than what would otherwise be possible through a passively swinging pendulum. This suggests that such converters can optimize their performance by incorporating active control schemes within their ever– changing ocean wave environment. The challenge of implementing such control, however, necessitates that an active controller be developed. Here, we address such challenges by: (i) deriving the equations of motion for a constrained generic vertical axis pendulum wave energy converter; (ii) modeling an irregular ocean wave environment; (iii) developing a model predictive and integral error tracking controller to enforce a desired control strategy; and (iv) simulating the converter within the modeled wave environment both with and without active control for the purpose of comparing their respective net power generation results. Here, we find that by actively controlling the rotation of the converter's pendulum, both continuous–mean and peak power generation are increased significantly. Simulation results show that active control is capable of increasing continuous–mean net power generation by over 200 percent. These results give strong evidence and support for further vertical axis pendulum wave energy converter development and also for the continued investigation of applying such active controllers to real world scenarios and prototypes.



Wave energy conversion, Vertical axis pendulum, Electricity, Hydrokinetics