A 6-Degrees-Of-Freedom robotized dry test rig has been developed at Uppsala University to test point absorbing WECs (Wave Energy Converters). Using a six joint industrial robot as a buoy movement emulator, the robot's outermost point (joint 6) is connected to the wire from the generator concept WEC PTO (Power Take-Off). The robot's movement in joint 6 thus corresponds to the buoy movement on the sea surface. The test rig can be used for various point absorbing WEC PTO units. In this project, the test rig has been used with a WEC-PTO prototype. The point absorbing WEC-LRTC concept is being developed at Uppsala University. The generator concept is made up of two identical rotating generators. A wire is used as a connection between the generator concept at the seabed and a buoy on the sea surface.
The goal of this article is to demonstrate and evaluate how the test rig interacts with the LRTC-WEC PTO in regular waves. In the presented experiments, a hydrodynamic model with force control method has been used.
The results show a clear difference in the use of the hydrodynamic model with different sizes of the buoy. The test rig with the force control model can be used easily to test different theoretical buoys and different load settings for WEC PTOs. Effective experiments can be performed with real PTO forces instead of simplified simulations.
Future work is to experiment with the position control method and also experiments with irregular waves.