Category Archives: Wave

Model predictive control of sea wave energy converters – Part II: The case of an array of devices


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Guang Li and Mike R. Belmont, Renewable Energy – August 2014

Abstract

This paper addresses model predictive control (MPC) of highly-coupled clusters of sea wave energy converters (WECs). Since each WEC is not only a wave absorber but also a wave generator, the motion of each WEC can be affected by the waves generated by its adjacent WECs when they are close to each other. A distributed MPC strategy is developed to maximize the energy output of the whole array and guarantee the safe operation of all the WECs with a reasonable computational load. The system for an array is partitioned into subsystems and each subsystem is controlled by a local MPC controller. The local MPC controllers run cooperatively by transmitting information to each other. Within one sampling period, each MPC controller performs optimizations iteratively so that a global optimization for the whole array can be approximated. The computational burden for the whole array is also distributed to the local controllers. A numerical simulation demonstrates the efficacy of the proposed control strategy. For the WECs operating under constraints explored, it is found that the optimized power output is an increasing function of degree of WEC–WEC coupling. Increases in power of up to 20% were achieved using realistic ranges of parameters with respect to the uncoupled case.

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Model predictive control of sea wave energy converters – Part I: A convex approach for the case of a single device


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Guang Li and Michael R Belmont, Renewable Energy – September 2014

Abstract

This paper investigates model predictive control (MPC) of a single sea wave energy converter (WEC). By using control schemes which constrain certain quantities, such as the maximum size of the feedback force, the energy storage for actuators and relative heave motion, it is possible for control to not only improve performance but to directly impact strongly on design and cost. Motivated by this fact, a novel objective function is adopted in the MPC design, which brings obvious benefits: First, the quadratic program (QP) derived from this objective function can be easily convexified, which facilitates the employment of existing efficient optimization algorithms. Second, this novel design can trade off the energy extraction, the energy consumed by the actuator and safe operation. Moreover, an alternative QP is also formulated with the input slew rate as optimization variable, so that the slew rate limit of an actuator can be explicitly incorporated into optimization. All these benefits promote the real-time application of MPC on a WEC and reduced cost of hardware.

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Filed under Modeling, System Development, Wave