MathWorks backs Perth Wave Energy Project

MathWorks has announced that Carnegie Wave Energy used Model-Based Design, MATLAB and Simulink, to design and build the world’s only operating wave farm.

As part of the Perth Wave Energy Project (PWEP), Carnegie needed to demonstrate the viability of its CETO technology, which generates power from ocean swells via submerged buoys. Engineers needed to analyze loads placed on mechanical components and to estimate energy output without building a scale model of the entire system.

The team used Simulink and SimHydraulics to model the wave energy system, including hydraulic and electromechanical components, which minimized scale testing and offered critical design insights.

MATLAB helped to analyze and visualize simulation and test data, and also accelerated sensitivity studies.

“We can’t afford the time and expense of building and analyzing multiple physical prototypes,” said Jonathan Fiévez, Chief Technology Officer at Carnegie. “Instead, we put the effort into virtual prototyping and getting the design right in Simulink. Simulation reduces risk and fosters innovation because we can use it to quickly test novel ideas.”

“As companies work on technology to help generate clean energy, they need innovative ways to prove the systems they design will work – without investing resources in building out a full scale model that may be far from final,” said Graham Dudgeon, Energy Industry Manager, MathWorks. “With Model-Based Design, companies can iterate on and test virtual prototypes to quickly arrive at the most successful mix of components and models within the design.”

Simulink was used to simulate a virtual prototype of the CETO 5 technology, where pumps actuated by the motion of the 11-meter-in-diameter buoys pressurize water to drive hydroelectric conversion devices, generating up to 240 kW of power per unit.

After analyzing test result data in MATLAB to validate their models, engineers found that initial tests suggest a strong correlation between the modeled and measured results. Carnegie is currently working on CETO 6, which has a targeted power output of 1 MW per buoy and will be located offshore of Garden Island, Western Australia.

Image: Carnegie Wave Energy