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Energies 2015, 8(12), 13672-13687;

Control-Informed Geometric Optimization of Wave Energy Converters: The Impact of Device Motion and Force Constraints

Centre for Ocean Energy Research, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
Current Address: Water Power Technologies Department, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87123, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jens Peter Kofoed
Received: 27 August 2015 / Revised: 9 November 2015 / Accepted: 23 November 2015 / Published: 2 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tools and Techniques for Economic Delivery of Ocean Energy)
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The energy cost for producing electricity via wave energy converters (WECs) is still not competitive with other renewable energy sources, especially wind energy. It is well known that energy maximising control plays an important role to improve the performance of WECs, allowing the energy conversion to be performed as economically as possible. The control strategies are usually subsequently employed on a device that was designed and optimized in the absence of control for the prevailing sea conditions in a particular location. If an optimal unconstrained control strategy, such as pseudo-spectral optimal control (PSOC), is adopted, an overall optimized system can be obtained no matter whether the control design is incorporated at the geometry optimization stage or not. Nonetheless, strategies, such as latching control (LC), must be incorporated at the optimization design stage of the WEC geometry if an overall optimized system is to be realised. In this paper, the impact of device motion and force constraints in the design of control-informed optimized WEC geometries is addressed. The aim is to verify to what extent the constraints modify the connection between the control and the optimal device design. Intuitively, one might expect that if the constraints are very tight, the optimal device shape is the same regardless of incorporating or not the constrained control at the geometry optimization stage. However, this paper tests the hypothesis that the imposition of constraints will limit the control influence on the optimal device shape. PSOC, LC and passive control (PC) are considered in this study. In addition, constrained versions of LC and PC are presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: wave energy; power optimization; optimal geometry; control; constraints wave energy; power optimization; optimal geometry; control; constraints

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Garcia-Rosa, P.B.; Bacelli, G.; Ringwood, J.V. Control-Informed Geometric Optimization of Wave Energy Converters: The Impact of Device Motion and Force Constraints. Energies 2015, 8, 13672-13687.

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