Author

Asa L. Sproul

Date of Award

5-2015

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor

Duane C. Hanselman

Second Committee Member

Bruce E. Segee

Third Committee Member

Nathan D. Weise

Abstract

Clean renewable energy extraction solutions are becoming a crucial practice in today’s society. Many different sources are utilized including ocean energy, and in particular, ocean waves. In deep water conditions, ocean waves can become very power dense, continuous, and forecastable. The variability in wave height, velocity, and frequency make it challenging to capture wave power economically. The wave front parallel wave energy converter (WEC) is a promising device that is currently under research. Its method of power capture is a buoyant vessel oriented normal to oncoming waves with a mechanical structure coupled to an electric generator. This work explores the implementation of known control methods on a novel wave front parallel WEC developed by Rohrer Technologies, Inc. This device is known as the RTI F2 and uses a buoyant vessel configuration. Its orientation allows for power to be absorbed from oncoming waves in the forms of heave (up-and-down) and surge (front-to- back) motions. Experimental data is obtained across various wave conditions, plate angles, vessel weights, and control strategies at the University of New Hampshire’s Chase Laboratory. This data is presented along with corresponding conclusions.

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