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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 980613, 14 pages
Research Article

Stochastic Control of Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter

1Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering, Polytechnic University of Turin, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin, Italy
2Environmental Hydraulics Institute “IH Cantabria”, C/Isabel Torres 15, Santander, 39011 Cantabria, Spain

Received 27 June 2014; Revised 19 August 2014; Accepted 21 August 2014

Academic Editor: Linni Jian

Copyright © 2015 Mattia Raffero et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The ISWEC (inertial sea wave energy converter) is presented, its control problems are stated, and an optimal control strategy is introduced. As the aim of the device is energy conversion, the mean absorbed power by ISWEC is calculated for a plane 2D irregular sea state. The response of the WEC (wave energy converter) is driven by the sea-surface elevation, which is modeled by a stationary and homogeneous zero mean Gaussian stochastic process. System equations are linearized thus simplifying the numerical model of the device. The resulting response is obtained as the output of the coupled mechanic-hydrodynamic model of the device. A stochastic suboptimal controller, derived from optimal control theory, is defined and applied to ISWEC. Results of this approach have been compared with the ones obtained with a linear spring-damper controller, highlighting the capability to obtain a higher value of mean extracted power despite higher power peaks.