Experimental testing of wave energy converter (WEC) controls

February 11, 2016 12:16 am Published by
U.S. Navy’s Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin (MASK). Photo courtesy of NSWC Carderock Division/released

Sandia has begun experimental testing on wave energy converter (WEC) modeling and controls. The test program focuses on model validation and system identification to produce high-quality data for control design of WECs. In partnership with the Navy, Sandia is conducting the tests at the maneuvering and sea-keeping (MASK) basin at the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Carderock Division (NSWCCD) in Bethesda, MD. The WEC being tested (1/17 scale) is among the largest scale models ever tested in a wave tank. While the Carderock facility typically tests the effects of wave motion on Navy vessels, the WEC tests provide an opportunity for Sandia, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Defense to collaborate on advanced wave energy testing.