WEC Control Competition RESULTS
The WECCCOMP experimental evaluation has now concluded and the results validated. We are delighted to announce that the winner of the experimental stage was the team from IFPEN, France!
Many congratulations! In fact, the IFPEN team also took the honours at the simulation stage, showing consistently good performance over the 2 stages. However, in the end, there was little daylight between the competitors, all teams performing well in both simulation and at the experimental stage. Probably the most unexpected aspect is that the IFPEN EC score in implementation was even better than the simulation score. A remarkable achievement, considering modelling inaccuracies and noisy measurements!
The experimental performance across the sea states is given in the following bar graph:
Comparative EC scores for simulation and experimental evaluation are in the following table:
- The experimental results will be published/presented in a paper at IFAC World Congress, Berlin, July 2020.
- The simulation results were presented at OMAE 2019, Glasgow and awards presented to the first 3 placed finishers.
- A comprehensive journal paper is currently being prepared by the organisers and competitors and hopefully hit the presses (reviews permitting!) in early 2020.
- Options for extending WECCCOMP are currently being considered, including releasing the problem as an official benchmark problem with validated simulation (and possibly experimental) evaluation. There’s also some discussion related to the possibility of a new benchmark WEC control problem.
Energy in ocean waves is distributed across a wide range of frequencies, with a challenge to optimise the loading of a WEC to maximise power capture across a range of sea states that a wave energy installation may be subject to. While there are a significant number of studies which evaluate particular devices under particular wave excitation conditions, few studies exist which compare a number of control strategies on one (or a set of) standard device(s), with consistent wave excitation applied in each case, to level the playing field. The objective of the currently proposed competition, which will consist of a standard WEC prototype platform, is to compare the energy capture performance of various WEC control strategies evaluated, in the first instance in simulation and then, for shortlisted entrants, on the prototype device in a wave tank environment.
Control competition requirements
Submission of control strategies will occur in two stages. In the first stage, strategies will be evaluated using a numerical model. For the second stage, a subset of the competitors from the first stage will be asked to submit a revised version of their controllers for implementation in a real-time control system, which will be evaluated through experimental wave tank testing on the physical system.