Paving the way for the successful commercialisation of wave energy converter technology

Title of the research project

DESTINY - Moment-based nonlinear energy-maximising optimal control of wave energy systems to secure a renewable future 

Scientific area 

Ocean engineering, Energy conversion, Control theory and applications

Marie Curie fellow 

Nicolás Faedo

Abstract  

Ocean waves have an enormous potential, capable of making a decisive contribution towards a low-carbon energy society. This project aims at developing advanced control system technology to support the effective commercialisation of wave energy conversion systems.

Description of the research project 

Ocean wave energy is a massive and untapped resource, which can make a valuable contribution towards a sustainable, global, energy mix. Despite the fact that ocean waves are a vast resource, wave energy converters (WECs) have yet to make significant progress towards commercialisation. A fundamental stepping stone to achieve this objective is the availability of appropriate optimal control technology, such that energy conversion is performed as economically as possible, minimising the delivered energy cost, and operating across a wide range of ocean conditions.

DESTINY will greatly advance WEC control technology by providing a novel nonlinear optimal control framework for WECs, based on the mathematical concept of moments. Such a framework will feature an accurate nonlinear description of the physics associated with the wave energy extraction process, optimally maximising energy absorption for single devices and array configurations, and exhibiting real-time capabilities. This will provide all stakeholders in the ocean engineering and wave energy fields with a fundamental and easily-accessible tool to facilitate reaching economic viability of wave energy technology. This project is comprised of 4 scientific work packages, which accomplish: (1) generalisation of the control framework for a large class of nonlinear control- and wave-dependent effects, (2) experimental validation of the control strategy, (3) extension to WEC arrays, and (4) release of an open-source software.

Impact on fellow career and on society 

DESTINY will produce cutting-edge knowledge for the advancement of the renewable energy sector, planning a number of outreach activities involving citizens and stakeholders.

This fellowship will expand the career perspectives of the fellow: a highly multidisciplinary plan is defined, building upon and extending beyond his current competencies. Thanks to the project, the fellow will be able to fully develop innovative ideas from his PhD research, and will be provided with an unparalleled opportunity to grow as a scientist, and engineer.

Short CV of Marie Curie fellow 

Nicolás Faedo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1991. He received the degree in automation and control engineering from the National University of Quilmes, in 2015, and the Ph.D. degree in electronic engineering from Maynooth University, Ireland, in 2020, in close collaboration with the Control and Power Group, Imperial College London, with a focus on optimal control and model reduction for wave energy converters from a system-theoretic perspective. His current research interests include nonlinear optimal control theory, with emphasis on applications involving renewable energy systems.

Supervisor 

Giuliana Mattiazzo, DIMEAS - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Aerospaziale

Project Partner Organisation

Maynooth University, Kildare, Ireland

DESTINY project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101024372

  • Budget: 183.473 euro
  • Start date: 1/06/2021
  • End date: 31/05/2023