Survival Focused Automatic Control (SURF-MATIC)


Stage 1

Project Lead

Wave Venture Ltd

Project Sub-Contractors

CorPower Ocean AB, Mocean Energy Ltd, Altran UK Ltd

The SURF-MATIC project targets development of a control system that is focused on device survival and achieving reduced loading and harshness in Wave Energy Conversion technology.

Survival is one of the strongest cost drivers of the structure in a wave energy converter and the structural cost is a very significant overall proportion of the cost of energy produced. In addition, complications in design due to extreme loadings and harshness also increase the cost and reduce the reliability, availability and performance of subsystems such as power take off and moorings. The opportunity that we seek to address is to deliver a control system that:

  • Acts to truncate the extreme tails of the structural loading probability distribution by controlling variables that alter the hydrodynamic properties of the device so that it can avoid extreme loads.
  • Acts to reduce the occurrence of harshness events such as end stop impacts and tether 'snapping' by controlling variables that both alter the hydrodynamic properties and also alter the dynamic motion response of the device.
  • Is generic and can work with a wide range of wave energy converters
  • Comes with design tools that can systematically identify (or design in) the configurations for each WEC type that best deliver these benefits.
  • Builds on state of the art ultra-high availability control systems (e.g. fly-by-wire) and adapt these to the wave energy application.

Project Partners:
Wave Venture gathered the evidence to show that this approach is valuable and that suitable reductions in loading and harshness can be achieved for a range of wave energy conversion technologies.

Altran GB worked to show that the proposed system can be delivered in a practical industrial control system that will achieve the ultra-high availability required for safety critical systems at the low cost required in renewable energy.

CorPower Ocean & Mocean Energy are developers of WEC technologies and contributed their expert knowledge of the end use application of this system and advice on how best to apply the proposed control technology to their WEC products.

Wave Venture presented a poster on their Stage 1 Control Systems project at the 2017 WES Annual Conference. All Stage 1 Control System posters are available to download here.

Control Systems Stage 1 - Public Report - Wave Venture

Control Systems Stage 1 Public Report for the Wave Venture "Survival Focused Automatic Control (SURFMATIC)" project. Includes a description of the technology, scope of work, achievements and recommendations for further work.

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