The economic viability of a wave energy converter depends largely on its power take-off system. Active control of the power take-off is necessary to maximise power capture across a range of sea-states and can also improve survivability. The high force, low speed regime of wave energy conversion makes it a suitable application for high-pressure hydraulics.
This paper describes the hydraulic power take-off system employed in the Pelamis wave energy converter. The process of the system's development is presented, including simulation and laboratory tests at 1/7th and fullscale. Results of efficiency measurements are also presented.