Hardware in the loop simulation for model scale wave energy converters
Ocean wave energy converters (WECs) are devices that utilize ocean energy to produce electricity or fresh water. A key stage in developing these devices is scale model testing in wave tanks, as it allows the power generation capabilities of a design to be evaluated at a much lower cost and with no environmental risk compared to full scale testing in the ocean. One of the challenges with designing scale models of WECs is the power take-off (PTO) system which can be infeasible to implement at small scales. An alternative approach is to perform hardware-in-the-loop testing of scale model WECs where the behaviour of the PTO is emulated using a linear motor controlled by a computer model of the physical PTO system. The proposed research project aims to develop a PTO emulator capable of simulating a variety of PTO systems, including hydraulic and pneumatic PTOs. Cascadia Coast Research will utilize the resulting system to perform hardware-in-the-loop testing of scale models for various WEC developers.