ocean energy

Wave Energy Scotland Funds New Controls Projects

Three of the most promising Control Systems concepts from the WES technology program will be awarded a total of £632,500 ($887,300) to further develop their ideas. The best projects were selected from the original series of thirteen which were recently completed.
Wave Energy Scotland Funds New Controls Projects

SgurrControl will bring their extensive experience of on and off-shore wind developments and work with Cruz Atcheson Consulting Engineering on the first project. They were awarded £187,409 ($262,800).  Their Integrated Marine Point Absorber Control Tool (IMPACT) project aims to develop software tools to make the design and implementation of advanced control systems for point absorber type wave energy converters quicker and easier.  By doing so, the cost of design of the WECs will be reduced as control can be easily factored in early in the design process to help inform mechanical and electrical design.

MaxSim’s winning submission builds on experience from several key Scottish wave energy companies and was awarded £187,500 ($263,000). This project considers the application of reinforcement learning (RL) to the control of wave energy converters. RL uses experience to map actions to outcomes, and develops a control policy that maximizes long-term rewards.

The final project to be selected was from Queen Mary University, London who will work with University of Exeter and Mocean Energy from Edinburgh. Their team was awarded £151,304 ($212,000). This project proposes a hierarchical adaptive optimal control framework to maximize wave energy conversion efficiency while guaranteeing safe operation for a large range of sea states. The framework combines the strengths of several key promising technologies in control and wave prediction to adaptively achieve the best trade-off between energy maximization and survivability.

The control system for a wave energy converter is an essential sub-component and can constitute a complex piece of technology. Computer simulations and state of the art technologies can be married to create a new approach for controlling wave energy converters.

These research projects are expected to conclude in nine months’ time.

Tim Hurst, WES managing director, said: “These three projects represent the best new concepts for controls that can be best applied to novel wave energy converters. I’m pleased that we are utilizing the experience from Scottish developers and growing that knowledge base at home.”

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