Hyrdrodynamic Control of Wave Energy Conversion


Overview: How to convert the mechanical energy in ocean waves to electrical energy through interaction with a converter is an old subject. This projects focuses on increasing the efficiency of conversion through controlling the converter response to wave forces such that the converter itself oscillates in resonance with the incident waves. Like pushing someone on a swing so that the applied push, in resonance, leads to higher amplitude hydrodynamic control is a matter of timing. In the ocean it is made difficult because of the random nature of arriving waves. This project has a contract for an X-band radar system to measure the approach of waves in real time. Associated with this data acquisition remote sensor is a simplified mathematical model to estimate the control forces on the converter for resonance that is associated with the estimated wave time of arrival and wave force at arrival.

Responsibilities: Work under supervision to complete a micro-soft excel based mathematical model of the control forces on a converter using the input of wave time of arrival and wave force at arrival. Investigate errors in the mathematical prediction caused by errors in the X-band radar measurement of time of arrival and wave force at arrival.

Considered Major(s):  Math or Mechanical Engineering with a completed a course in differential equations. An additional course in mechanical vibrations is desired but not required.

Qualifications: Interest in how floating structures on the ocean respond to wave forces

To apply, follow the application process and mention this opportunity when you fill out the form.