An experimental test rig has been constructed which is capable of recreating within a laboratory setting the dynamic response exhibited by a prime mover onto a motor – generator assembly. The prime mover can simulate from real or modeled time series data any varying source such as a wind turbine, a hydraulic motor or a wave energy air turbine.
The initial application around which the test rig has been designed is a wave energy converter. In this regard, the case study considered in this paper is the emulation of a floating Oscillating Water Column – Wells turbine device operating under a number of sea states. Particular attention has been given to the control algorithm of such a converter and to the effect on device performance including the flywheel storage. Simulations were conducted in Matlab/Simulink and results demonstrate by means of peak to average power ratios that significant improvements in the system’s performance were achieved for any given sea state with the addition of a flywheel energy storage device. In particular, the ratios for power exported to the grid were seen to improve by up to a factor of 4.5.