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.