The first full-scale offshore prototype of a novel wave energy converter system has been launched off the Swedish west coast. The concept is based on a point absorber directly coupled to a linear generator located on the ocean floor. The wave energy converter is part of a research project that will study the electrical system of 10 units forming a small farm of wave power plants as they are linked and connected to an electric grid. A full scale farm will consist of a large number of interconnected units. The chosen direct drive system reduces the mechanical complexity of the converter but has repercussions on the electrical system. The output from the generator will vary with the speed of the point absorber, leading to large fluctuations of power on the second scale. This has implications on both the individual generator and on the system as a whole. The hydrodynamic behavior of the point absorber depends, to a large extent, on the damping of the generator. The damping, in turn, can be controlled remotely by changing the load resistance. It has previously been shown that this has a large influence on the power absorbed by the wave energy converter. This paper investigates the peak power, the translator speed and the variance of the power at different sea states and for different levels of damping. The peak power has an impact on the design of the generator and the required ability, for a single unit, to handle electrical overloads. The speed of the translator is directly proportional to its momentum. It is thus important for the design of the end stop. The variance of the power of one unit will have an impact on the farm system behavior. The study is based on two and a half months of experimental measurements on the prototype wave energy converter and a wave measurement buoy. The aim is to analyze whether load control strategies may influence the dimensioning criteria for the electrical system and the generator. The results are compared with previously investigated relationships between absorbed mean power and load resistance as a function of sea state. In the study it was found that the maximum power is approximately proportional to the average power while maximum translator speed and standard deviation decrease as the damping factor is increased.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.