The control of wave energy converters using active bipolar damping

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    A novel method for controlling wave energy converters using active bipolar damping is described and compared with current control methods. The performance of active bipolar damping is modelled numerically for two distinct types of wave energy converter and it is found that in both cases the power capture can be significantly increased relative to optimal linear damping. It is shown that this is because active bipolar damping has the potential for providing a quasi-spring or quasi-inertia, which improves the wave energy converter's tuning and amplitude of motion, resulting in the increase in power capture observed. The practical implementation of active bipolar damping is also discussed. It is noted that active bipolar damping does not require a reactive energy store and thereby reduces the cost and eliminates losses due to the cycling of reactive energy. It is also noted that active bipolar damping could be implemented using a single constant pressure double-acting hydraulic cylinder and so potentially represents a simple, efficient, robust and economic solution to the control of wave energy converters.


    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages9
    Pages (from-to)479-487
    JournalInstitution of Mechanical Engineers. Proceedings. Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment
    Journal publication date2009
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    ID: 637879