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Tidal Effect Compensation System Design for High Range Sea Level Variations
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.
2015 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The working principle of the wave energy converter (WEC) from Uppsala University is a heaving point absorber with directly driven linear generator placed on the seabed. The heave motion of the buoy is transmitted to the generator via a steel cable. When tides occur, the sea level changes, and thus making the WEC works below optimal condition. This system is designed so that the WEC is able to work at sea level variation up to 8 meters. A compensation system is designed to continuously make the WEC work in its optimal condition even at different sea levels. We present a mechanical system and its control algorithm that monitor and control the length of the connecting line. The connecting line is consist of a steel wire and a steel chain connected together. The mechanical part of the system is the winch that retracts or releases the steel chain that connects the translator and the buoy at the water surface. The rotation of the winch is controlled by a motor with the help of microcontrollers and several sensors for accuracy and feedback. The result from simulation showed that the system works fine. The approach of compensating the wire length connecting the buoy and the translator allow more flexibility to WEC to work in the area with high sea level variation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-286598OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-286598DiVA: diva2:921824
Conference
Proceedings of the 11th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference 6-11th Sept 2015, Nantes, France
Available from: 2016-04-21 Created: 2016-04-21 Last updated: 2016-08-25
In thesis
1. Sea Level Compensation System for Wave Energy Converters
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sea Level Compensation System for Wave Energy Converters
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The wave energy converter developed at Uppsala University consists of a linear generator at the seabed driven by the motion of a buoy on the water surface. The energy absorbed by the generator is negatively affected by variations of the mean sea level caused by tides, changes in barometric pressure, strong winds, and storm surges.

The work presented in this doctoral thesis aims to investigate the losses in energy absorption for the present generation wave energy converter due to the effect of sea level variations, mainly caused by tides. This goal is achieved through the modeling of the interaction between the waves and the point absorber. An estimation of the economic cost that these losses imply is also made. Moreover, solutions on how to reduce the negative effect of sea level variations are discussed. To this end, two compensation systems which adjust the length of the connection line between the floater and the generator are designed, and the first prototype is built and tested near the Lysekil research site.

The theoretical study assesses the energy loss at about 400 coastal points all over the world and for one generator design. The results highlight critical locations where the need for a compensation system appears compelling. The same hydro-mechanic model is applied to a specific site, the Wave Hub on the west coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom, where the energy loss is calculated to be about 53 %. The experimental work led to the construction of a buoy equipped with a screw jack together with its control, measurement and communication systems. The prototype, suitable for sea level variations of small range, is tested and its performance evaluated. A second prototype, suitable for high range variations, is also designed and is currently under construction.

One main conclusion is that including the compensation systems in the design of the wave energy converter will increase the competitiveness of the technology from an economic point of view by decreasing its cost per kWh. The need for a cost-effective wave energy converter with increased survivability emphasizes the importance of the presented research and its future development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. 71 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1386
Keyword
Ocean energy, Tides, Linear generator, Point absorber, Offshore experiment, Hydro-mechanic modeling, Power absorption, Control system, Communication system, Measurement system, Lysekil research site, Wave Hub.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-295603 (URN)978-91-554-9613-5 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2016-09-09, Polhemsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-08-19 Created: 2016-06-08 Last updated: 2016-08-25

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