Energy and Climate
Energy and ClimateECEnergyComputational Modeling & SimulationAdvanced Controls of Wave Energy Converters May Increase Power Capture Up to 330%

Advanced Controls of Wave Energy Converters May Increase Power Capture Up to 330%

Although ocean waves represent an enormous energy resource, most existing WEC designs efficiently produce power only within a narrow wave frequency range. Advanced control of the power-conversion chain can alter this paradigm. Models have shown absorbed-power increases ranging from 100% to 330%. To move from idealized, theoretical paper studies to deployable WEC hard­ware, requires rigorous research.

The Department of Energy has recognized this work’s importance in two substantial ways. First, three recent federally funded industry awards were related to advanced-controls topics. Second, Sandia was selected to lead an effort to realize these potential gains in controlled experiments.

Sandia will leverage strong capabilities in WEC design, modeling, and testing combined with our world-renowned control-system expertise to develop a device-independent, publicly releasable, validated power-conversion-chain control platform.

A heaving two-body point absorber modeled in WEC-Sim.

A heaving two-body point absorber modeled in WEC-Sim.

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