Marine Renewable Energy Converter with Latching Control.

Vassos Vamvas

Tuesday 30 june 2015

14:50 - 15:05h at Antarctica (level 0)

Themes: (T) Special session, (ST) Marine renewable energy

Parallel session: 6D. Special session: Marine Renewable Energy

The "Dominant Design" of a marine wave energy converter (WEC) will have incorporated a set of key technological features, which will win the allegiance of the ocean wave energy marketplace. This paper discusses the challenges that WECs face in the ocean environment and explores the application of the management of technological innovation concept “Dominant Design”, developed by professors Utterback and Abernathy, in the marine renewable energy industry. It also presents an overview of a new WEC design, which incorporates latching control and automation, called the “RobotArm”, developed by Minuteman Power Co. of Bedford, Massachusetts. The “RobotArm” is a near-shore device, which comprises a keeled buoy attached to a fulcrum through a set of lever arms. The “RobotArm” acts as a “thinking” wrench, which "decides" when to latch in order to generate the maximum possible forces, at any instant wave, thus applying to a generator the maximum possible torque, both during a crest and a trough. This device can be used to provide either grid electricity or energy storage for district heating. A pilot-scale “RobotArm” has been constructed and lab results are analyzed and presented.

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