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Energies 2016, 9(9), 746; doi:10.3390/en9090746

Maintenance Maneuver Automation for an Adapted Cylindrical Shape TEC

1
Escuela de Ingenieros Industriales de Albacete, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, 02071 Albacete, Spain
2
Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Navales, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen Nash
Received: 26 July 2016 / Revised: 29 August 2016 / Accepted: 9 September 2016 / Published: 14 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Modelling of Wave and Tidal Energy)
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Abstract

Several manufacturers have developed devices with which to harness tidal/current power in areas where the depth does not exceed 40 m. These are the so-called first generation Tidal Energy Converters (TEC), and they are usually fixed to the seabed by gravity. When carrying out maintenance tasks on these devices it is, therefore, necessary to remove the nacelles from their bases and raise them to the surface of the sea. They must subsequently be placed back on their bases. These tasks require special high performance ships, signifying high maintenance costs. The automation of emersion and immersion maneuvers will undoubtedly lead to lower costs, given that ships with less demanding requirements will be required for the aforementioned maintenance tasks. This research presents a simple two degrees of freedom dynamic model that can be used to control a first generation TEC that has been conceived of to harness energy from marine currents. The control of the system is carried out by means of a water ballast system located inside the nacelle of the main power unit and is used as an actuator to produce buoying vertical forces. A nonlinear control law based on a decoupling term for the closed loop depth and/or orientation control is also proposed in order to ensure adequate behavior when the TEC performs emersion and immersion maneuvers with only hydrostatic buoyancy forces. The control scheme is composed of an inner loop consisting of a linear and decoupled input/output relationship and the vector of friction and compressibility terms and an outer loop that operates with the tracking error vector in order to ensure the asymptotically exponential stability of the TEC posture. Finally, the effectiveness of the dynamic model and the controller approach is demonstrated by means of numerical simulations when the TEC is carrying out an emersion maneuver for the development of general maintenance tasks and an emersion maneuver for blade-cleaning maintenance tasks. View Full-Text
Keywords: tidal energy converters; marine renewable energy; dynamic modeling; nonlinear control; automatic maneuvers tidal energy converters; marine renewable energy; dynamic modeling; nonlinear control; automatic maneuvers
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Morales, R.; Fernández, L.; Segura, E.; Somolinos, J.A. Maintenance Maneuver Automation for an Adapted Cylindrical Shape TEC. Energies 2016, 9, 746.

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