Now scientists at Sandia National Laboratories are performing the biggest model-scale wave energy experiment of its type to enhance the performance of wave-energy converters (WECs). The project is ongoing at the U.S. Navy’s Sea Keeping and Maneuvering facility at the Carderock Division in Bethesda, Maryland, one of the biggest wave tanks in the globe at 360 feet long and 240 feet wide and possessing the capacity to hold 12 million gallons of water.
The project is headed by Giorgio Bacelli and Ryan Coe, who researched for numerous days in the dark wave tank, where less lighting diminishes the algae growth in water. They are gathering information from their experimental research and numerical modeling to advantage wave energy technology with enhanced methodologies, strategic control systems testing and design practices for wave energy converters.
“Our aim is to enhance the economic viability of such devices,” says Coe. “In order to perform so, we are performing out methods to control the WEC’s generator to enhance the volume of power it absorbs. At the same time, we are searching for ways to reduce the stresses and loads on such devices in rigid conditions to eventually lengthen a WEC’s lifespan in the water.”
Coe confirms multiple initial types of researchestimate that enhancing control of the WEC’s generators can drastically enhance energy absorption by as more as 300 percent. Transforming these simplified researches to more realistic big-scale gadgets is the limitation at hand. For regulating the dynamics for faster, better results in the wave tank, Bacelli and Coe are utilizing control and modeling methods that have been successful in other industries, like the aerospace industry.
“The systems we utilize has been in use for a while, but strangely enough they had never been utilized to wave energy converters,” says Bacelli. “Till now, we are aware of the methods we are utilizing more effective and economical than current methods. We are obtaining more quality information in a fraction of the time.” Now that the Sandia has accomplished the first round of experiments in the water, Coe says that the goal is to process all the gathered data to introduce a novel, enhanced model that will ensure the next experiment yields even more valuable outcomes.
“No need of making a mistake, these are exceedingly intricate machines,’ says Bacelli. “They are required to be regularly fine-tuned because ocean waves are regularly transforming. With such setup at the facility of the Navy, we have a distinguished and special opportunity to study and analyze the problems and estimate the effects. We intend to assist the industry by providing solutions to the limitations the wave energy world is experiencing.”
Filed Under: News