Optimal declutching control of hinged multiple floating bodies

Yu, Shuang-Rui and Zhang, Ming and Zhang, De-Qing and Yuan, Zhi-Ming (2024) Optimal declutching control of hinged multiple floating bodies. Ocean Engineering, 306. 117992. ISSN 0029-8018 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oceaneng.2024.117992)

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In deep seas, there is an increasing utilisation of multiple floating structures as devices for harnessing renewable energy, such as hybrid wind-wave energy systems and multi-body wave energy converters. The control strategies have a great influence on the motion characteristics and energy conversion efficiency of these systems. The control technology brings more benefits to the system's performance, yet also introduces more complex challenges. This paper aims to fill the research gap in the control of multiple floating bodies and to propose a novel optimal declutching control method. Declutching control enables discontinuous loading and releasing of the force from power take-off system between bodies. It was found that the feasibility of the proposed method is highly dependent on the choice of objective functions, iteration numbers, and wave frequencies. With appropriate parameters, the declutching control can achieve a variety of objectives for a hinged floating multibody system, such as reducing pitch motion, improving extracted wave power, increasing relative rotational speed, and enhancing power extraction. The control effects on the velocity and the force-velocity phase relationship and how they benefit the objectives are discussed. All objective functions show a better control effect (at least 7.76%) on their respective performance indices than others.