Wave Energy Power Take-off Validation with a Hydraulicly Actuated Rotary Dynamometer and a Bi-directional High-power DC Supply
Methods for validating wave energy converters' mechanical and electrical power conversion systems
Keywords:Validation, Dynamometer, WEC, PTO, Testing
There are many organizations working towards the commercialization of wave energy converter technologies and are advancing their designs through the technology readiness levels (TRLs). A critical step before the field deployment of prototype wave energy converters is the validation of the subsystems and components that are contained in the wave energy converter through laboratory testing and performance characterization. In 2021, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed and demonstrated a system for testing power takeoffs (PTO) with a low-speed, high-torque dynamometer and a grid-tied high-power DC power source and sink before field deployment. The hydraulic dynamometer allows for the simulation of PTO actuation from wave motion and is capable of a wide range of wave periods and heights which are represented as various speeds and torques from the dynamometer. The high-power bidirectional power supply allows for hardware in the loop and controller in the loop testing to be conducted on WEC power electronics. This presentation was made to describe the methods used by NREL research staff to test all components and sub-systems in the PTO of a novel wave energy converter before field deployment.
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