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High-Efficiency Current-Source Converter for All-Electric Wave Energy Conversion Systems

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stephen McDonald, Professor Volker Pickert, Dr Nick BakerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Power Take-Off (PTO) for Wave Energy Converters (WECs) is a challenge for developers.Typically a mechanical PTO involves hydraulics, compressed air or gears to convert the high force, low velocity energy flux from the WEC into a high velocity, low force form suitable for electrical generation. A conventional generator is used, simplifying the Electrical Power Conversion System (EPCS). Further, the mechanical PTO solution permits the storage of energy to reduce the naturally peaky nature of the WEC power flow or tune the resonant frequency of the WEC.The E-Drive project aims to develop a direct-drive PTO to convert mechanical energy from the WEC directly into electrical energy suitable for export. The EPCS needs to be designed for the time varying nature of the WEC power flow and to control the WEC. For example, to provide WEC reactive power control. The EPCS is modular to improve reliability and adopts a Current Source Converter (CSC) as the generator interface with localised energy storage and a multilevel inverter as the grid interface. This paper discusses the suitability of the CSC and explores reactive power control for a case study WEC. Results from the WEC model with the generator and CSC are presented.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McDonald SP, Pickert VP, Baker NJ

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference - EWTEC 2017

Year of Conference: 2017

Print publication date: 31/08/2017

Acceptance date: 01/08/2017

Date deposited: 06/09/2017