While wave energy converters (WECs) offer the potential of renewable energy from ocean waves, a central challenge for developers is the ability to investigate candidate geometries and control systems prior to expensive wave tank tests or field deployment. If WEC behavior and power output can be simulated numerically, results can be analyzed to determine if a candidate development direction should be pursued. This paper describes the validation of a tool used at Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) to refine the design of its PowerBuoy® product. The tool, Simulink Target for OrcaFlex Runtime Model (STORM), was developed by OPT with support from MathWorks. STORM takes advantage of the ability of (a) OrcaFlex to represent the interaction of complex geometries with a realistic marine environment and (b) Simulink to represent the behavior of the device’s Power Takeoff (PTO) under different control functions, including the digital nature of real-time control. Optimal control of WECs is an active area of research within the industry. STORM provides the tools necessary to implement and evaluate various control architectures while exposing them to realistic physical constraints and nonlinearities.

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