Wave energy is a promising renewable energy resource for coastal regions around the world, but is not yet an economically competitive source of electricity. More effective power take-off (PTO) designs would help to make wave power a feasible and clean source of energy. To do this, PTOs need to: i) enable controlled actuation, ii) convert absorbed energy into electricity efficiently, and iii) have minimal manufacturing costs. We propose a new PTO architecture that can exert arbitrary control loads on the WEC to maximize energy capture, enabling the downsizing of expensive electrical components while maintaining high efficiency. Our PTO design is based upon a hybrid hydraulic-electric architecture (HHEA). This paper compares the performance of the HHEA PTO against two other PTO designs: 1) a baseline PTO consisting of a system of rectifying check valves and accumulators, and 2) a PTO consisting of an electro-hydraulic actuator (EHA). The HHEA PTO is shown to produce much more power than the check valve PTO and the EHA PTO. Also, the required electric generator sizes for the HHEA are smaller than that of the EHA PTO. The reduced size of these components allows for a WEC which is less expensive to manufacture.

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