The paper discusses the need for a wave energy converter (WEC) to sense and respond to its environment in order to survive and to produce its maximum useful output. Such systems are described for Wraspa, a WEC being developed at Lancaster University and first reported at ICCEP in 2007. The main control system that continually monitors and optimises the power-take-off is termed ldquoStepwise Controlrdquo and seeks to continually adjust the damping force applied to the collector to suit the wave force that drives it. The complete instrumentation and control system that will be needed is considered briefly, including the above PTO control system; direction sensing and heading control; tide level compensation; condition monitoring and provisions for access and maintenance.
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