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Reactive control of a wave energy converter using artificial neural networks


Citation Anderlini, E., Forehand, D.I.M., Bannon, E. and Abusara, M. Reactive control of a wave energy converter using artificial neural networks, International Journal of Marine Energy, 19: 207-220, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijome.2017.08.001.
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Author(s) Anderlini, E., Forehand, D.I.M., Bannon, E. and Abusara, M.
Project partner(s) University of Edinburgh, Wave Energy Scotland, University of Exeter
Publisher International Journal of Marine Energy, 19: 207-220
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijome.2017.08.001
Abstract A model-free algorithm is developed for the reactive control of a wave energy converter. Artificial neural networks are used to map the significant wave height, wave energy period, and the power take-off damping and stiffness coefficients to the mean absorbed power and maximum displacement. These values are computed during a time horizon spanning multiple wave cycles, with data being collected throughout the lifetime of the device so as to train the networks off-line every 20 time horizons. Initially, random values are selected for the controller coefficients to achieve sufficient exploration. Afterwards, a Multistart optimization is employed, which uses the neural networks within the cost function. The aim of the optimization is to maximise energy absorption, whilst limiting the displacement to prevent failures. Numerical simulations of a heaving point absorber are used to analyse thebehaviour of the algorithm in regular and irregular waves. Once training has occurred, the algorithm presents a similar power absorption to state-of-the-art reactive control. Furthermore, not only does dispensing with the model of the point-absorber dynamics remove its associated inaccuracies, but it also enables the controller to adapt to variations in the machine response caused by ageing.

Highlights
  • Artificial neural networks are for the first time used for the reactive control of a WEC.
  • The neural network learns the optimal damping and stiffness coefficients.
  • A time averaged approach is adopted.
  • Considerations on practical issues are addressed.
  • The proposed control strategy is adaptive to changes in the system dynamics.
This work was partly funded via IDCORE, the Industrial Doctorate Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy, which trains research engineers whose work in conjunction with sponsoring companies aims to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind, wave and tidal-current technologies
Associated Project(s) ETI-MA2003: Industrial Doctorate Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE)
Associated Dataset(s) EDC0000134: Tidal Energy Site Environmental Conditions Measured During the ReDAPT Tidal Project 2011-2014
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