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Wave Energy Research at Uppsala University and The Lysekil Research Site, Sweden: A Status Update
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.
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2015 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper provides a summarized status update ofthe Lysekil wave power project. The Lysekil project is coordinatedby the Div. of Electricity, Uppsala University since 2002, with theobjective to develop full-scale wave power converters (WEC). Theconcept is based on a linear synchronous generator (anchored tothe seabed) driven by a heaving point absorber. This WEC has nogearbox or other mechanical or hydraulic conversion systems,resulting in a simpler and robust power plant. Since 2006, 12 suchWECs have been build and tested at the research site located atthe west coast of Sweden. The last update includes a new andextended project permit, deployment of a new marine substation,tests of several concepts of heaving buoys, grid connection,improved measuring station, improved modelling of wave powerfarms, implementation of remote operated vehicles forunderwater cable connection, and comprehensive environmentalmonitoring studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
Wave energy, point absorber, experiments, arrays, generators, ROVs
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering Ocean and River Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-265218OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-265218DiVA: diva2:864112
Conference
Proceedings of the 11th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference. Nantes, France, September 2015
Available from: 2015-10-26 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2017-09-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Modelling Wave Power by Equivalent Circuit Theory
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modelling Wave Power by Equivalent Circuit Theory
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The motion of ocean waves can be captured and converted into usable electricity. This indicates that wave power has the potential to supply electricity to grids like wind or solar power. A point absorbing wave energy converter (WEC) system has been developed for power production at Uppsala University. This system contains a semi-submerged buoy on the water surface driving a linear synchronous generator placed on the seabed. The concept is to connect many small units together, to form a wave farm for large-scale electricity generation.

A lot of effort has gone into researching how to enhance the power absorption from each WEC unit. These improvements are normally done separately for the buoy, the generator or the electrical system, due to the fact that modelling the dynamic behavior of the entire WEC system is complicated and time consuming. Therefore, a quick, yet simple, assessment tool is needed. 

This thesis focuses on studying the use of the equivalent circuit as a WEC system modelling tool. Based on the force analysis, the physical elements in an actual WEC system can be converted into electrical components. The interactions between the regular waves, the buoy, and the Power Take-off mechanism can be simulated together in one circuit network. WEC performance indicators like the velocity, the force, and the power can be simulated directly from the circuit model. Furthermore, the annual absorbed electric energy can be estimated if the wave data statistics are known.

The linear and non-linear equivalent circuit models developed in this thesis have been validated with full scale offshore experimental results. Comparisons indicate that the simplest linear circuit can predict the absorbed power reasonably well, while it is not so accurate in estimating the peak force in the connection line. The non-linear circuit model generates better estimations in both cases. To encourage researchers from different backgrounds to adapt and apply the circuit model, an instruction on how to establish a non-linear equivalent circuit model is supplied, as well as on how to apply the model to accelerate the decision making process when planning a WEC system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. 75 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1309
Keyword
Wave energy, hydrodynamics, electric circuit, electrical analogy, energy absorption, force, system modelling, Simulink, engineering science, renewable energy
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Science of Electricity
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-265270 (URN)978-91-554-9390-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-12-11, Häggsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Energy AgencyStandUpSwedish Research Council, KOF11 2011-6312Swedish Research Council, 621-2009-3417
Available from: 2015-11-19 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2016-01-13
2. Underwater Electrical Connections and Remotely Operated Vehicles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Underwater Electrical Connections and Remotely Operated Vehicles
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) are underwater robots that perform different kind of operations, from observation to heavier tasks like drilling, carrying and pulling cables, etc. Those ROVs are costly and require skilled personal to operate it as well as equipment for transportation and deployment (boats, cranes, etc.).

The division for electricity at Uppsala University, is developing a wave energy converter (WEC) concept. The concept is based on a point-absorbing buoy with a directly driven linear generator placed on the seabed. Several units are connected to a marine substation that is located on the seabed, whose role is to collect and smooth the power absorbed from the waves and then bring it to the shore through one single cable.

Cable connection is a big challenge in the project because the WEC concept is small and many units are necessary to create a rentable farm. Nowadays this operation is performed by divers but using Observation Class ROV (OCROV) could be an interesting alternative since they are affordable at lower costs and easier to operate. Cable connection is however a heavy task and requires force that an OCROV does not have. It will need a docking system from which the vehicle will take its force. It would then go to the station, dock itself to this support plate, grab the cables and connect them together. This procedure cannot be done by the ROV operator because it requires accurate displacement and quick adjustment of the robot’s behavior.

An autopilot was created in Matlab Simulink that consists of three units: the path following, the ROV, and the positioning unit. The first one uses the vehicle’s position and computes the speed and heading to be applied on the ROV in order to guide it on the desired path. The second one contains a controller that will adapt the thrust of each propeller to the force needed to reach the desired heading and speed from the path following unit. It also contains the model of the ROV that computes its position and speed. The last unit consists of a Kalman filter that estimates the ROV position and will be used in case of delay or failure in the communication with the positioning sensors.

The autopilot model is used with a positioning system that utilizes green lasers and image processing. Two green lasers are used as fixed points in each camera picture and from their distance on the image, the actual distance between the ROV and the docking platform can be computed. In addition, optical odometry is used. The idea behind is to estimate how the ROV is behaving by evaluating the changes between two pictures of the camera. Those two systems, laser and odometry, work together in order to get more accurate results.

The laser system has so far been tested in air. The distance measurements gave interesting results with an error inferior to 3%, and angle measurements gave less than 10% error for a distance of one meter. One advantage with the system is that it gets more accurate as the vehicle gets closer to the docking point.

In addition to the ROV project, a review study was conducted on the variability of wave energy compared with other resources such as tidal, solar, and wind power. An analysis of the different tools and models that are used to forecast the power generation of those sources was done. There is a need for collaboration between the different areas because the future will aggregate those different sources to the grid and requires a unification of the models and methods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Engineering Sciences, 2016. 66 p.
Series
UURIE / Uppsala University, Department of Engineering Sciences, ISSN 0349-8352 ; 349-16L
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-302644 (URN)
Presentation
2016-09-30, 16:08 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Lysekil project
Available from: 2016-10-18 Created: 2016-09-07 Last updated: 2016-10-18Bibliographically approved
3. Numerical Modelling and Mechanical Studies on a Point Absorber Type Wave Energy Converter
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Numerical Modelling and Mechanical Studies on a Point Absorber Type Wave Energy Converter
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Oceans cover two thirds of the Earth’s surface and the energy potential of ocean waves as a renewable energy source is huge. It would therefore be a tremendous achievement if the vast mechanical energy in waves was converted into a form of energy that could be used successfully by society. For years, scientists and engineers have endeavored to exploit this renewable energy by inventing various generators designed to transform wave energy into electrical energy. Generally, this sort of generator is called a Wave Energy Converter (WEC).

In this thesis, the research is based on the WEC developed in the Lysekil Project. The Lysekil Project is led by a research group at Uppsala University and has a test site located on the west coast of Sweden. The project started in 2002. So far, more than ten prototypes of the WEC have been deployed and relevant experiments have been carried out at the test site. The WEC developed at Uppsala University can be categorized as a point absorber. It consists of a direct-drive linear generator connected to a floating buoy. The linear generator is deployed on the seabed and driven by a floating buoy to extract wave energy. The absorbed energy is converted to electricity and transmitted to a measuring station on land.

The work presented in this thesis focuses on building a linear generator model which is able to predict the performance of the Lysekil WEC. Studies are also carried out on the damping behavior of the WEC under the impact of different sea climates. The purpose is to optimize the energy absorption with a specific optimal damping coefficient. The obtained results indicate an optimal damping for the Lysekil WEC which can be used for optimizing the damping control.

Additionally, the impact two central engineering design features (the translator weight and the stroke length) are investigated. The aim is to find a reasonable structural design for the generator which balances the cost and the energy production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. 76 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1443
Keyword
linear generator, point absorber, numerical modelling, power production, optimal damping
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-305650 (URN)978-91-554-9731-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-12-07, 80101, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-11-14 Created: 2016-10-20 Last updated: 2016-11-16
4. Numerical Modelling and Statistical Analysis of Ocean Wave Energy Converters and Wave Climates
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Numerical Modelling and Statistical Analysis of Ocean Wave Energy Converters and Wave Climates
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Ocean wave energy is considered to be one of the important potential renewable energy resources for sustainable development. Various wave energy converter technologies have been proposed to harvest the energy from ocean waves. This thesis is based on the linear generator wave energy converter developed at Uppsala University. The research in this thesis focuses on the foundation optimization and the power absorption optimization of the wave energy converters and on the wave climate modelling at the Lysekil wave converter test site.

The foundation optimization study of the gravity-based foundation of the linear wave energy converter is based on statistical analysis of wave climate data measured at the Lysekil test site. The 25 years return extreme significant wave height and its associated mean zero-crossing period are chosen as the maximum wave for the maximum heave and surge forces evaluation.

The power absorption optimization study on the linear generator wave energy converter is based on the wave climate at the Lysekil test site. A frequency-domain simplified numerical model is used with the power take-off damping coefficient chosen as the control parameter for optimizing the power absorption. The results show a large improvement with an optimized power take-off damping coefficient adjusted to the characteristics of the wave climate at the test site.

The wave climate modelling studies are based on the wave climate data measured at the Lysekil test site. A new mixed distribution method is proposed for modelling the significant wave height. This method gives impressive goodness of fit with the measured wave data. A copula method is applied to the bivariate joint distribution of the significant wave height and the wave period. The results show an excellent goodness of fit for the Gumbel model. The general applicability of the proposed mixed-distribution method and the copula method are illustrated with wave climate data from four other sites. The results confirm the good performance of the mixed-distribution and the Gumbel copula model for the modelling of significant wave height and bivariate wave climate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. 58 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1447
Keyword
Wave power, Wave energy converter, Gravity-based foundation, Power absorption, Wave spectrum, Linear generator, Frequency domain, Wave climate, Ocean wave modelling, Mixed-distribution model, Bivariate distribution, Archimedean copula
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-305870 (URN)978-91-554-9738-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-12-12, Ångstrom 10132, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-11-18 Created: 2016-10-24 Last updated: 2016-11-28
5. Cooling Strategies for Wave Power Conversion Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cooling Strategies for Wave Power Conversion Systems
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Division for Electricity of Uppsala University is developing a wave power concept. The energy of the ocean waves is harvested with wave energy converters, consisting of one buoy and one linear generator. The units are connected in a submerged substation. The mechanical design is kept as simple as possible to ensure reliability.

The submerged substation includes power electronics and different types of electrical power components. Due to the high cost of maintenance operations at sea, the reliability of electrical systems for offshore renewable energy is a major issue in the pursuit of making the electricity production economically viable. Therefore, proper thermal management is essential to avoid the components being damaged by excessive temperature increases.

The chosen cooling strategy is fully passive, and includes no fans. It has been applied in the second substation prototype with curved heatsinks mounted on the inner wall of the pressurized vessel. This strategy has been evaluated with a thermal model for the completed substation. First of all, 3D-CFD models were implemented for selected components of the electrical conversion system. The results from these submodels were used to build a lumped parameter model at the system level.

The comprehensive thermal study of the substation indicates that the rated power in the present configuration is around 170 kW. The critical components were identified. The transformers and the inverters are the limiting components for high DC-voltage and low DC-voltage respectively. The DC-voltage—an important parameter in the control strategy for the WEC—was shown to have the most significant effect on the temperature limitation.

As power diodes are the first step of conversion, they are subject to large power fluctuations. Therefore, we studied thermal cycling for these components. The results indicated that the junction undergoes repeated temperature cycles, where the amplitude increased with the square root of the absorbed power.

Finally, an array of generic heat sources was optimized. We designed an experimental setup to investigate conjugate natural convection on a vertical plate with flush-mounted heat sources. The influence of the heaters distribution was evaluated for different dissipated powers. Measurements were used for validation of a CFD model. We proposed optimal distributions for up to 36 heat sources. The cooling capacity was maximized while the used area was minimized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. 77 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1454
Keyword
Wave power, power conversion system, thermal management, power elctronics, passive cooling, natural convection.
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-306706 (URN)978-91-554-9759-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-01-20, Polhemsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
SweGRIDS - Swedish Centre for Smart Grids and Energy Storage
Available from: 2016-12-21 Created: 2016-11-02 Last updated: 2016-12-28
6. Sonar for environmental monitoring of marine renewable energy technologies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sonar for environmental monitoring of marine renewable energy technologies
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Human exploration of the hydrosphere is ever increasing as conventional industries grow and new industries emerge. A new emerging and fast-growing industry is the marine renewable energy. The last decades have been characterized by an accentuated development rate of technologies that can convert the energy contained in stream flows, waves, wind and tides. This growth benefits from the fact that human society has become notably aware of the well-being of the environment that we all live in. This brings a human desire to implement technologies which cope better with the natural environment. Yet, this environmental awareness poses difficulties in approving new renewable energy projects such as offshore wind, wave and tidal energy farms. Lessons have been learned that lack of consistent environmental data can become an impasse when consenting permits for testing and deployments marine renewable energy technologies. An example is the European Union in which a majority of the member states requires rigorous environmental monitoring programs to be in place when marine renewable energy technologies are commissioned and decommissioned. To satisfy such high demands and to simultaneously boost the marine renewable sector, long-term environmental monitoring framework that gathers multi-variable data are needed to keep providing data to technology developers, operators as well as to the general public. Technologies based on active acoustics might be the most advanced tools to monitor the subsea environment around marine manmade structures especially in murky and deep waters where divining and conventional technologies are cost.

The main objective of this PhD project has develop and test an active acoustic monitoring system for offshore renewable energy farms, by integrating a multitude of appropriate monitoring sonar, hydrophones and cameras systems to be developed with standards suitable for subsea environmental monitoring. In this project, a first task was to identify, secondly acquire and test sonar systems, then a platform was designed and built, a data acquisition device control systems were developed, finally additional instruments such as video cameras and sonars were added. This systems integration followed by calibration of devices was conducted. The sonar systems were used for quantitative measurements of the occurrence of e.g. large marine animals and schools of fish near marine renewable energy converters. The sonar systems were also used for seabed inspections, depth measurements and capitating flow observations.

So far, the combination of multibeam and dual-beam sonar systems produced good results of target detection, bottom inspection, depth measurements and biomass estimation. The multibeam sonar system was capable of resolving isolated targets located near high acoustic retroreflective objects. Panoramic acoustic images of wave and instream energy converters were acquired using a multibeam sonar operating at frequencies near 1 GHz. The Dual-beam and split-beam sonar systems produced data referent to acoustic background intensity of targets that helps to classify targets according to its size, composition and 3-Dimensional location within the water column. The next phase of this project will deploy the platform for longer periods in order to gather consistent acoustic and optical backscattering data of marine animal behaviour within marine renewable energy farms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. 66 p.
Series
UURIE / Uppsala University, Department of Engineering Sciences, ISSN 0349-8352 ; 350-16L
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Science of Electricity
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-314065 (URN)
Presentation
2016-12-15, Ång/10132, The Angstrom Laboratory, Box 534, Uppsala, 16:46 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 607656Carl Tryggers foundation
Available from: 2017-01-31 Created: 2017-01-26 Last updated: 2017-02-08Bibliographically approved
7. Wave Energy Converters: An experimental approach to onshore testing, deployments and offshore monitoring
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Wave Energy Converters: An experimental approach to onshore testing, deployments and offshore monitoring
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The wave energy converter (WEC) concept developed at Uppsala University consists of a point absorbing buoy, directly connected to a permanent magnet linear generator. Since 2006, over a dozen full scale WECs have been deployed at the Lysekil Research Site, on the west coast of Sweden. Beyond the development of the WEC concept itself, the full scale approach enables, and requires, experimental and multidisciplinary research within several peripheral areas, such as instrumentation, offshore operations, and wave power infrastructure.

This thesis addresses technical challenges of testing, deploying and monitoring full scale WECs. It is divided accordingly into three topics: offshore measurement systems, onshore WEC testing and deployments. Each topic presents new or improved technical solutions to enable offshore wave power research.

For the offshore measurement systems, a new portable data acquisition unit was developed, together with a new sensor system to be installed inside the WEC. The developed system offers a cheap and flexible option for short term offshore measurement ventures, when or where site infrastructure is not available. The system has been developed and tested during both onshore and offshore experiments, with promising results.

On the topic of onshore WEC testing, the thesis presents an experimental approach for assessing the power take-off (PTO) damping of the WEC. In previous experimental studies, it has been measured via the generated electrical power, which neglects both mechanical losses and iron losses. Consequently, the full PTO force acting on the WEC has been underestimated. The thesis presents experimentally attained trends for the speed dependence of the PTO damping at different resistive loads, as measured from both generated electric power and from measurements of the buoy line force. A study was also performed on how the generator damping is affected by partial stator overlap, which varies with the translator position. In order to assess how the characterized damping behavior will affect the WEC operation at sea, two simulation case studies were performed.

Finally, the thesis presents a new WEC deployment method, which has been developed through several deployment trials. By using only a tugboat, a WEC unit is transported and deployed, together with its buoy, in less than half a day. The procedure has proven to be faster, cheaper and safer than the previously used methods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 100 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1563
Keyword
wave power, ocean energy, linear generator, measurements, sensors, point absorber, offshore, PTO, force
National Category
Energy Engineering Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Science of Electricity
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-329856 (URN)978-91-513-0077-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-11-10, Siegbahnsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-10-18 Created: 2017-09-21 Last updated: 2017-10-18

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Parwal, ArvindHong, YueFrancisco, FranciscoCastelucci, ValeriaHai, LingUlvgård, LiselotteLi, WeiLejerskog, ErikBaudoin, AntoineChatzigiannakou, Maria AngilikiHaikonen, KalleEkström, RickardGöteman, MalinWaters, RafaelSvensson, OlleSundberg, JanRahm, MagnusStrömstedt, ErlandEngström, JensSavin, AndrejLeijon, Mats

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