This paper outlines a proposed open competition which will compare energy-maximising controllers for wave energy converters (WECs), both in simulation, and in real time, using a scale device in a tank test situation. To date, a wide variety of WEC control algorithms have been proposed, but have been difficult to compare due to differences in the simulation/scale models they are evaluated on, the range of incident sea states employed, and the reliance to a greater or lesser extent on wave or excitation force forecasts. In addition, most WEC control algorithms have been evaluated only in simulation, which masks the real-time computational capability, as well as the degree to which the model-based controllers are robust to WEC modelling errors, since the controllers are predominantly evaluated with a WEC simulation model identical to that upon which the controller is based.
This paper describes the format of a proposed WEC control competition, detailing the scale target device, the open-source WEC-Sim simulation platform, along with likely performance
metrics and range of sea states under which the assessment will be performed. The paper serves the purpose both as an announcement of the competition and indicates the nominal
schedule, as well as soliciting feedback at this stage of the process.