The incoming menace of global overheating and depletion of fossil fuels, highlight the need for alternative, renewable, energy sources. In this context, ocean wave energy has a massive potential to contribute towards global decarbonisation. In optimising wave energy converters (WEC) productivity, state-of-the-art, model-based optimal control techniques are fundamental to enhance energy absorption efficiency. However, the vast majority of these optimal approaches inherently require wave excitation force estimators. In particular, in array configurations, the interaction between WEC devices has to be taken into account to achieve a consistent excitation force estimation. In this paper, a linear time-invariant (LTI) estimation approach for a WEC farm is proposed. The technique proposed is based upon the so-called ‘simple and effective estimator’, recently presented in the WEC literature, which reformulates the wave excitation force estimation problem as a traditional tracking loop. The results show that the proposed approach provides accurate estimates of the exciting force for every device in the array, with almost no design effort, and mild computational requirements.

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