Integrated hydrodynamic-electrical hardware model for wave energy conversion with M4 ocean demonstrator

Judith Apsley, Xiaotao Zhang, Inaki Erazo Damian, Matteo Iacchetti, Zhijing Liao, Peter Stansby, Guang Li, Gangqiang Li, Hugh Wolgamot, Christophe Gaudin, Adi Kurniawan, Xinan Zhang, Zifan Lin, Weeramundage Udaya Nuwantha Fernando, Christina Shearer, Brad Saunders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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Marine wave energy is a potentially valuable renewable energy resource that can share the same infrastructure as floating wind, with a complementary power delivery pattern. Despite many small-scale sea trials, most previous results are not in the public domain and the technology remains immature. This programme aims to put a 20 m long, kW scale, wave-to-wire multi-modal raft attenuator into the sea in 2023/24, and make datasets ranging from site wave resource surveys to real-time electrical power generation available to researchers. This paper addresses the project design stage, covering the full system integrated hydrodynamic-electrical modelling and hardware specifications for both dry testing and sea trials. The modelling reveals the inter-relationships between the mechanical platform and electrical system constraints. Models are applied to identify the operational limits of the power take-off, particularly the generators, and show how this impacts on total energy extracted with conventional linear damping control. The exercise has identified the energy-storage isolation transformer as under-specified –this is a relatively low-cost item that can be upgraded. The gearbox has emerged as a more significant limiting factor for power scale-up.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication15th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference - EWTEC
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Sept 2023


  • Wave energy
  • power take-off
  • simulation
  • hardware demonstrator


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