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Influence of Generator Damping on Peak Power and Variance of Power for a Direct Drive Wave Energy Converter
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Electricity.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Electricity.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Electricity.
2008 (English)In: Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering-Transactions of The Asme, ISSN 0892-7219, E-ISSN 1528-896X, Vol. 130, no 3, 031003- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The first offshore prototype of a wave energy converter system has been launched off the Swedish west coast. The concept is based on a point absorber directly coupled to a linear generator located on the ocean floor. The wave energy converter is part of a research project that will study the electric system of ten units forming a small farm of wave power plants as they are linked and connected to an electric grid. A full scale farm will consist of a large number of interconnected units. The chosen direct drive system reduces the mechanical complexity of the converter but has repercussions on the electric system. The output from the generator will vary with the speed of the point absorber, leading to large fluctuations of power on the second scale. This has implications on both the individual generator and on the system as a whole. The hydrodynamic behavior of the point absorber depends, to a large extent, on the damping of the generator. The damping, in turn, can be remotely controlled by changing the load resistance. It has previously been shown that this has a large influence on the power absorbed by the wave energy converter. This paper investigates the peak power, the translator speed, and the variance of the power at different sea states and for different levels of damping. The peak power has an impact on the design of the generator and the required ability, for a single unit, to handle electric overloads. The momentum of the translator is directly proportional to its speed. The speed is thus important for the design of the end stop. The variance of the power of one unit will have an impact on the farm system behavior. The study is based on two and a half months of experimental measurements on the prototype wave energy converter and a wave measurement buoy. The aim is to analyze whether load control strategies may influence the dimensioning criteria for the electric system and the generator. The results are compared to previously investigated relationships between the absorbed mean power and the load resistance as a function of sea state. In the study, it was found that the maximum power is approximately proportional to the average power, while the maximum translator speed and standard deviation decrease as the damping factor is increased.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 130, no 3, 031003- p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97849DOI: 10.1115/1.2905032ISI: 000257795900003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-97849DiVA: diva2:172935
Available from: 2008-11-21 Created: 2008-11-21 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Energy from Ocean Waves: Full Scale Experimental Verification of a Wave Energy Converter
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy from Ocean Waves: Full Scale Experimental Verification of a Wave Energy Converter
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A wave energy converter has been constructed and its function and operational characteristics have been thoroughly investigated and published. The wave energy converter was installed in March of 2006 approximately two kilometers off the Swedish west coast in the proximity of the town Lysekil. Since then the converter has been submerged at the research site for over two and a half years and in operation during three time periods for a total of 12 months, the latest being during five months of 2008. Throughout this time the generated electricity has been transmitted to shore and operational data has been recorded. The wave energy converter and its connected electrical system has been continually upgraded and each of the three operational periods have investigated more advanced stages in the progression toward grid connection. The wave energy system has faced the challenges of the ocean and initial results and insights have been reached, most important being that the overall wave energy concept has been verified. Experiments have shown that slowly varying power generation from ocean waves is possible.

Apart from the wave energy converter, three shorter studies have been performed. A sensor was designed for measuring the air gap width of the linear generator used in the wave energy converter. The sensor consists of an etched coil, a search coil, that functions passively through induction. Theory and experiment showed good agreement.

The Swedish west coast wave climate has been studied in detail. The study used eight years of wave data from 13 sites in the Skagerrak and Kattegatt, and data from a wave measurement buoy located at the wave energy research site. The study resulted in scatter diagrams, hundred year extreme wave estimations, and a mapping of the energy flux in the area. The average energy flux was found to be approximately 5.2 kW/m in the offshore Skagerrak, 2.8 kW/m in the near shore Skagerrak, and 2.4 kW/m in the Kattegat.

A method for evaluating renewable energy technologies in terms of economy and engineering solutions has been investigated. The match between the technologies and the fundamental physics of renewable energy sources can be given in terms of the technology’s utilization. It is argued that engineers should strive for a high utilization if competitive technologies are to be developed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Universitetsbiblioteket, 2008. 130 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 580
Keyword
wave power, wave energy converter, sea trials, ocean energy, linear generator, point absorber, search coil, wave climate, utilization
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-9404 (URN)978-91-554-7354-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-12-12, Polacksbackens aula, Lägerhyddsv. 2, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-11-21 Created: 2008-11-21 Last updated: 2012-11-09Bibliographically approved
2. Ocean Wave Energy: Underwater Substation System for Wave Energy Converters
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ocean Wave Energy: Underwater Substation System for Wave Energy Converters
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with a system for operation of directly driven offshore wave energy converters. The work that has been carried out includes laboratory testing of a permanent magnet linear generator, wave energy converter mechanical design and offshore testing, and finally design, implementation, and offshore testing of an underwater collector substation. Long-term testing of a single point absorber, which was installed in March 2006, has been performed in real ocean waves in linear and in non-linear damping mode. The two different damping modes were realized by, first, a resistive load, and second, a rectifier with voltage smoothing capacitors and a resistive load in the DC-link. The loads are placed on land about 2 km east of the Lysekil wave energy research site, where the offshore experiments have been conducted. In the spring of 2009, another two wave energy converter prototypes were installed. Records of array operation were taken with two and three devices in the array. With two units, non-linear damping was used, and with three units, linear damping was employed. The point absorbers in the array are connected to the underwater substation, which is based on a 3 m3 pressure vessel standing on the seabed. In the substation, rectification of the frequency and amplitude modulated voltages from the linear generators is made. The DC voltage is smoothened by capacitors and inverted to 50 Hz electrical frequency, transformed and finally transmitted to the on-shore measuring station. Results show that the absorption is heavily dependent on the damping. It has also been shown that by increasing the damping, the standard deviation of electrical power can be reduced. The standard deviation of electrical power is reduced by array operation compared to single unit operation. Ongoing and future work include the construction and installation of a second underwater substation, which will connect the first substation and seven new WECs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2010. 114 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 711
Keyword
wave energy, wave power, wave energy converter, direct-drive, permanent magnet linear generator, point absorber, array, farm, park, offshore, marine, substation, electrical transmission system
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Science of Electricity
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-112915 (URN)978-91-554-7713-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-03-05, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Polhemsalen, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-02-12 Created: 2010-01-22 Last updated: 2013-07-31Bibliographically approved

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