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Wave Energy Extraction Maximization in Irregular Ocean Waves Using Pseudospectral Methods

[+] Author Affiliations
Daniel R. Herber, James T. Allison

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

Paper No. DETC2013-12600, pp. V03AT03A018; 11 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3A: 39th Design Automation Conference
  • Portland, Oregon, USA, August 4–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5588-1
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Energy extraction from ocean waves and conversion to electrical energy is a promising form of renewable energy, yet achieving economic viability of wave energy converters (WECs) has proven challenging. In this article, the design of a heaving cylinder WEC will be explored. The optimal plant (i.e. draft and radius) design space with respect to the design’s optimal control (i.e. power take-off trajectory) for maximum energy production is characterized. Irregular waves based on the Bretschneider wave spectrum are considered. The optimization problem was solved using a pseudospectral method, a direct optimal control approach that can incorporate practical design constraints, such as power flow, actuation force, and slamming. The results provide early-stage guidelines for WEC design. Results show the resonance frequency required for optimal energy production with a regular wave is quite different than the resonance frequency found for irregular waves; specifically, it is much higher.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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