Modelling and Simulation of a Power Take-off in Connection with Multiple Wave Energy Converters

The objective of this thesis is to develop a model that will integrate multiple buoys to a power take-off hub. The model will be derived using a time domain analysis and will consider the hydraulic coupling of the buoys and the power take-off.

The derived model is reproduced in MATLAB in order to run simulations. This will give possibility to conduct a parameter study and evaluate the performance of the system.

The buoy simulation model is provided by Wave4Power (W4P). It consists of a floater that is rigidly connected to a fully submerged vertical (acceleration) tube open at both ends. The tube contains a piston whose motion relative to the floater-tube system drives a power take-off mechanism.

The power take-off model is provided by Ocean Harvesting Technologies AB (OHT). It comprises a mechanical gearbox and a gravity accumulator. The system is utilized to transform the irregular wave energy into a smooth electrical power output. OHT’s simulation model needs to be extended with a hydraulic motor at the input shaft. There are control features in both systems, that need to be connected and synchronized with each other.

Another major goal within the thesis is to test different online control techniques. A simple control strategy to optimize power capture is called sea-state tuning and it can be achieved by using a mechanical gearbox with several discrete gear ratios or with a variable displacement pump. The gear ratio of the gear box can be regulated according to a 2D look up table based on the average wave amplitude and frequency over a defined time frame.

The OHT power take-off utilizes a control strategy, called spill function, to limit the excess power capture and keep the weight accumulator within a span by disengaging the input shaft from the power take-off. This is to be modified to implement power limitation with regulation of the gear ratio of the gearbox.
Source: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Authors: Ghodrati, Ashkan | Rashid, Ahmed

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