Hydrodynamic Control Using X-Band Radar for Wave Energy Converter Technology

U.S. Dept of Defense, Naval Facilities Engineering Command

The current approach for designing wave energy converters is to use a floating-body tuned to the wave climate, which results in a very large device that is expensive to build, service and deploy. Additionally, because the device is designed to be tuned to a specific climate, it will not work effectively in a different location ·with a different climate. Therefore, the current approach for designing wave energy converters is not conducive to long-term economic application.

Economically significant size reduction and year-round power increases are only possible through operation near theoretical efficiency limits in constantly changing wave conditions, which requires active hydrodynamic control. However, the wave-by-wave control necessary for best conversion is not possible without wave-elevation information up to some duration into the future (this in large part is because of the force due to the waves generated by body oscillation in response to the incident wave field). By incorporating wave-elevation prediction based on a deterministic propagation model that accounts for a realistic range of wave-group velocities in conjunction with wave measurements in the up-wave directions, we have been able to confirm, through simulations, a 10-fold increase in power conversion under a swept-volume oscillation constraint for an omni-directional heaving buoy type device.
Availability of instantaneous wave profile (“wave surface elevation” or “wave elevation”) measurements and wave surface elevation predictions is important to the success of the control approach being pursued in this work. Equally important is the near-optimal wave-by-wave control approach itself.

Proposed research:
1. A method for obtaining instantaneous wave surface elevation information on a wave-by wave basis using a low-cost X-band Radar (the state of the art, as represented by the commercially available WaMOS system is optimized to provide spectral information.
2. A method for providing constrained near-optimal wave-by-wave control for maximizing the energy conversion by small wave energy converters.
3. Although the focus of the proposed research is wave energy converter technology, the results of this work are expected to find application in other forthcoming Navy developments. Wave-by-wave surface elevation prediction and near-optimal power absorption techniques demonstrated in this effort can be extended to facilitate critical mid-sea shipboard operations such as helicopter/ aircraft landing, cargo handling, etc. The techniques demonstrated as part of this research will also provide technology to enhance and optimize seakeeping characteristics of Navy ocean platforms.

Investigator: Umesh Korde

Increasing Ship Power System Capability throught Exergy Control

U.S. Dept. of Defense, Office of Naval Research

The main objective of this effort is to develop an exergy control strategy, applied to a ship medium voltage de (MVDC) grid that exploits exergy flow coupling between multiple subsystems. This work involves: 1) exergy control strategy development and 2) mapping exergy control system performance to ship-relevant metrics. A ship power grid Challenge Problem model will be developed to illustrate and resolve the fundamental gaps of exergy control. The model will also compare and contrast feedforward and feedback exergy control with conventional strategies.

Introduction
Ship subsystems and mission modules perform energy conversion during their operation resulting in a combination of electricity consumption, heat generation and mechanical work. Mission module thermal management requirements further impact the ship’s electrical grid, for example, via chiller operation. Subsystems often have opportunities for performing an energy storage role during their operation cycle. A ship crane is one example where potential energy is stored in the raised load and can be converted into electrical energy during lowering. Whether subsystem requirements are dominated by electrical, thermal or mechanical functions, they are coupled through energy and information flows, often by the ship’s electrical power grid. Treating each subsystem as a disconnected entity reduces the potential for exploiting their inherent interconnection and likely results in over designed shipboard systems with higher than necessary weight and volume. Realizing the opportunity of coupled subsystem operation requires modeling and control schemes that are unavailable today, but that we believe should require few infrastructure changes. We propose that the design and control of coupled ship subsystems should be based on exergy- the amount of energy available for useful work. A recent study, applied to a room heating system, showed that exergy control increased the overall efficiency by 18%. Since the system was powered electrically, this translated directly to a decrease in the electrical load. The main objective of this effort is to develop an exergy control strategy, applied to a ship medium voltage de (MVDC) grid that exploits exergy flow coupling between multiple subsystems.

An exergy approach to control permits consideration of both mission modules and the platform infrastructure as mixed physics power systems that may act as loads, storage or sources depending on the situation. Instead of separately designed and managed subsystems that satisfy electrical and thermal requirements via static design margins a, multi-physics, unified system-of-systems approach is needed to enable affordable mid-life upgrades as requirements and mission systems evolve over the platform’s lifespan. Being able to translate the benefits of exergy control into savings in mass, volume, energy storage requirements and fuel usage is necessary for making rational design decisions for new ship platforms and for increasing the efficiency of legacy ship systems. Currently, there does not exist an analysis technique to map control system performance into ship-relevant performance metrics. This restricts ship designers from understanding the tradeoffs of adopting advanced control schemes that may exploit subsystem coupling. One of the objectives of this work is to develop a method for extrapolating control system performance into ship-relevant metrics that impact mass, volume, energy storage, and fuel usage.

As described above, there are two main thrusts to this work: (1) exergy control strategy development and (2) mapping exergy control system performance to ship-relevant metrics. We will develop a ship power grid Challenge Problem model that will illustrate the fundamental gaps of exergy control that will be addressed. The model will also be used to compare and contrast feedforward and feedback exergy control with conventional strategies. Techniques for mapping the results of the exergy control to weight, volume, and energy storage requirements will be developed and applied to the Challenge Problem throughout the project.

Investigators: Gordon Parker and Rush Robinett, and Ed Trinklein.

Making Small Wave Energy Converters Cost-Effective for Underwater Microgrids through a 10-Fold Improvement in Year-Round Productivity

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Objective

Proposed Work
Drivetrain and Actuator
1- Conceptual Design of actuators with large stroke and large rated force.
2- Conceptual Design of a high efficient drivetrain and energy storage for low frequency oscillatory systems (WECs)
3- Evaluate several technologies (electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic) for the design of the actuator and powertrain, with the requirement of limiting the overall cost.

Investigators: Ossama Abdelkhalik and Mark Vaughn

Advanced Controls in Wave Eergy Conversion

Sandia National Labs

Wave energy converter (WEC) control analysis and development within the Water Power Technologies department at Sandia National Laboratory. Design an advanced control strategy for WEC and ongoing research focused on the development and analysis of novel control strategies for WECs.

Investigator: Ossama Abdelkhalik

Autonomous Microgrids: Theory, Control, Flexibility and Scalability

U.S. Dept of Defense Office of Naval Research

Project Description and Research Objectives:
From large scale electric power grids and microgrids down to small scale electronics, power networks are typically deployed using a fixed infrastructure architecture that cannot expand or contract without significant human intervention. Mobile, monolithic power systems exist but are also not readily scalable to exploit surrounding power sources and storage devices. However, if a power network is constructed from physically independent and autonomous building blocks, then it would be infinitely reconfigurable and adaptable to changing needs and environments. The aim of this project is to integrate vehicle robotics with intelligent power electronics to create self-organizing, ad-hoc, hybrid AC/DC microgrids. The main benefits of this system would be the establishment and operation of an electrical power networks independent of human interaction and can adapt to changing environments, resource and mission. In the context of U.S. Naval platforms, this autonomous electrical network could be used in land, air or sea systems.

The focus of this work will be on land based autonomous microgrid systems, but the fundamental theory developed may be applicable to air and sea based systems as well. Investigators at Michigan Technological University have developed initial hardware and testbeds to study this problem. However, a more detailed theoretical foundation is needed to be developed to apply autonomous microgrids to a wide variety of operational scenarios with various resources. It is also hypothesized that given the flexibility of this approach that it could be equally applied over a vast scale of energy assets. A microgrid that grows in situ from 10 s to 100 s to 1000 s of energy assets can be equally managed, controlled and optimized through the highly scalable approach proposed in this project.

These applications are examples of the critical need for autonomous mobile microgrid capable of operating in highly dynamic and potentially hazardous environments. Our overall goal is to create a scalable architecture to develop a system that accounts for uncertainty in predictions and disturbances, is redundant, requires minimal communication between agents, provides real-time guarantees on the performance of path planning, and reaches the targets while making electrical connections. Such architecture provide a coherent layout for the interconnection between different disciplines on this topic and minimizes the integration concerns for future developments.

Description of the Proposed Work:
• Microgrid Planning and Control
• Microgrid Topology and Optimization
• Electrical Components and Power Flow
• Game-Theoretic Control
• Physical Autonomous Positioning and Connections

Investigator: Wayne Weaver, Rush Robinett and Nina Mahmoudian

On Integrating New Capability into Coastal Energy Conversion Systems

National Science Foundation -South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Overview:
Analyze and simulate the power capture from arrays of wave energy converters (WECs) with and without the presence of an object. Nonlinear WECs will be analyzed and exploited for more energy capture. For object detection, MTU will develop an estimator. In addition to having a model that detects the presence of an object, the estimator will use that model and account for uncertainties that we have in the model and also measurement errors; in any case we need to know statistical characteristics about these uncertainties and errors. MTU will participate in the WEC array overall design, analysis, modeling and simulations; control design for Design 2, nonlinear modeling and control, and topology optimization.

Investigator: Ossama Abdelkhalik and Mark Vaughn

Distributed and Decentralized Control of Aircraft Energy Systems

U.S. Dept of Defense, Air Force Research Lab -InfoSciTex Corp (AFRL)

Aircraft energy system components, including sources, loads and distribution, have multiple commitments and responsibilities. Often much of the system is comprised of power electronic converters for sources, loads, and energy storage (chemical, mechanical and thermal). For example, a point of load power converter has the commitment to serve the energy needs of the end load. However, if the power system collapses, the needs of the load cannot be met. Therefore, it is also in the interest of the conve1ter to contribute to the global stability of the power system by reducing nonlinear dynamics and incremental negative impedance. One method to mitigate the destabilizing effects of constant power loads is the power buffer concept. A power buffer is a device that mitigates a destabilizing event by presenting controlled impedance to the supply during the transient while local energy is used to maintain constant power to the load until the system can recover. A power buffer may include additional hardware, or may merely be a modification of the controls of an existing active front end power converter. However to date the use of a load as an energy asset in a power buffer has been limited to traditional chemical (capacitor and battery) storage devices in the electrical network. Next generation aircraft may have a broad range of potential assets in the form of loads, including inertial spinning devices and thermal systems, which could be utilized in the overall energy strategy.

Research with AFRL researchers to investigate distributed and decentralized control of aircraft energy systems. This effort will include using models and simulations to formulate decentralized control and study the effects. Specifically,
• Develop and document a mathematical model of the aircraft energy systems including thermal and inertial loads.
• Formulate a decentralized power buffer control including inertial and thermal loads as energy storage assets.
• Develop and document nume1ic simulation models in MATLAB/Simulink and/or
• Modelica. The models will include aircraft system and controls.
• Validate theoretic results through simulation under stressing scenarios.

Investigator: Wayne Weaver

Umesh Korde


Biography
Umesh Korde has been active in the area of ocean wave energy utilization since 1982. He has worked on several aspects of the problem, though his research over the last three decades has primarily been concerned with the dynamics, control, and hydrodynamics of oscillating bodies and pressure distributions performing as the primary working element of a wave energy converter. Of particular interest in the last few years have been small devices capable of integration into measurement and sensing systems in the ocean, as well as shore and ocean based microgrids serving a variety of applications. A focal area of his current research has been new techniques for modeling and control, including novel ways to utilize existing approaches.

Dr. Korde has also worked on the dynamics and control of flexible bodies including lightweight membranes, for space applications such as steering and shaping of laser beams, tunable passive damping of lightweight structures, and self-healing of structures using focused stress waves. Dr. Korde serves as an associate editor for the journal J Ocean Engineering and Marine Energy (Springer), and is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Research Specialties

  • Dynamics and control: floating body hydrodynamics, hydrodynamic modeling of buoys, cables;
  • Modeling and control of flexible and smart structures;
  • Wave energy converters, near-optimal control in the time domain;
  • Adaptive and nonlinear control of floating bodies;
  • Low-dissipation actuator and mechanism development, development of new detection and sensing modalities;
  • Deterministic wave prediction;
  • Control of ship-board systems
  • Wave powered microgrids
  • Wave Energy Conversion (WECs)

    WECS are devices with moving elements that are directly activated by the cyclic oscillation of the waves for Ocean wave energy utilization and energy harvesting. Power is extracted by converting the kinetic energy of these displacing parts into electric current; dynamics, control, and hydrodynamics of oscillating bodies and pressure distributions performing as the primary working element of a wave energy converter. Specific recent research has been on small devices capable of integration into measurement and sensing systems in the ocean, as well as shore and ocean based microgrids serving a variety of applications. A focal area of this current research has been new techniques for modeling and control, including novel ways to utilize existing approaches.