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Analysis of electrical drive speed control limitations of a power take-off system for wave energy converters

Gaspar, José F., Kamarlouei, Mojtaba, Sinha, Ashank, Xu, Haitong, Calvário, Miguel, Faÿ, François-Xavier, Robles, Eider, Guedes Soares, C.
Renewable energy 2017 v.113 pp. 335-346
computers, energy conversion, hydrodynamics, models, pumps, water power
The active control of wave energy converters with oil-hydraulic power take-off systems presents important demands on the electrical drives attached to their pumps, in particular on the required drive accelerations and rotational speeds. This work analyzes these demands on the drives and designs reliable control approaches for such drives by simulating a wave-to-wire model in a hardware in-the-loop simulation test rig. The model is based on a point absorber wave energy converter, being the wave, hydrodynamic and oil-hydraulic part simulated in a computer that sends and receives signals from the real embedded components, such as the drive generator, controller and back-to-back converter. Three different control strategies are developed and tested in this test rig and the results revealed that despite the drive limitations to acceleration levels, well above 1 × 10⁴ rpm/s, these do not significantly affect the power take-off efficiency, because the required acceleration peaks rarely achieve these values. Moreover this drive is much more economical than an oil-hydraulic and equivalent one that is able to operate at those peaks of acceleration.