As the wave energy industry advances towards full scale deployment, researchers are exploring how to achieve maximum array power generation and interaction factor (also referred to as q-factor and is defined in Equ. (1)) . While the physical phenomena that affect power development are currently being studied, both array optimization and active device control have theoretically shown substantial benefits to array power development [2, 3, 4]. Despite these individual efforts, the potential impact of combined array optimization and active control have yet to be explored. As a component of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Laboratory and Field Arrays (ALFA) project, we are performing an initial study regarding how to best jointly consider array optimization and active device control.
We propose a segmented research approach where we explore different combinations of array optimization and controls optimization scenarios, such that we can identify and isolate the impacts of each of these contributions to array power development. This research lays the groundwork for future integration of active control into array optimization algorithms.
To best understand the impact of array optimization with optimal, device-specific damping, we consider three case studies. These include fixed layouts with a fixed array damping (Case 1), fixed layouts with optimized device-specific damping (Case 2), and optimized layouts with a fixed array damping (Case 3). We opted not to consider optimized layouts with optimized WEC-specific damping due to minuscule improvements in power and computational expense. For the cases with fixed layouts, the layouts are informed by existing research. For the cases with fixed damping, these values are obtained by determining the optimal damping value of a single device in isolation. Figure 1 shows the relationship between these case studies.
In this paper we will briefly describe our array optimization method, our device damping value optimization method, and the results we have obtained thus far for the different cases.