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Complementary Control of Oscillating Water Column-Based Wave Energy Conversion Plants to Improve the Instantaneous Power Output

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6 Author(s)
Alberdi, M. ; Dept. of Autom. Control & Syst. Eng., Univ. of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain ; Amundarain, M. ; Garrido, A.J. ; Garrido, I.
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In this paper, an oscillating water column-based wave energy conversion plant is modeled and controlled by means of two complementary control strategies in order to improve the conversion of wave energy into electric power. This wave power generation system consists of a capture chamber, a Wells turbine, and an induction generator. The improvement relays on the implementation of a control scheme that combines two different control methods: a rotational speed control and an airflow control implemented by means of a throttle valve in series with the turbine. The use of rotational speed control provides a fast way to react to the abrupt and short changes in the turbine speed, ensuring that the average power of the generator is adequately adjusted according to the incident wave power level. Besides, a throttle-valve is used to control the flow through the turbine so as to increase the amount of energy produced, particularly at the higher incident wave power levels. These two control strategies complement each other, maximizing and improving the quality of supply by controlling and smoothing the generated power for different scenarios of wave oscillations, variations of wave grouping, and changes in the sea state.

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Energy Conversion, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 4 )