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Title: Optimal control and robust estimation for ocean wave energy converters
Author: Abraham, Edo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 7480
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis deals with the optimal control of wave energy converters and some associated observer design problems. The first part of the thesis will investigate model predictive control of an ocean wave energy converter to maximize extracted power. A generic heaving converter that can have both linear dampers and active elements as a power take-off system is considered and an efficient optimal control algorithm is developed for use within a receding horizon control framework. The optimal control is also characterized analytically. A direct transcription of the optimal control problem is also considered as a general nonlinear program. A variation of the projected gradient optimization scheme is formulated and shown to be feasible and computationally inexpensive compared to a standard nonlinear program solver. Since the system model is bilinear and the cost function is not convex quadratic, the resulting optimization problem is shown not to be a quadratic program. Results are compared with other methods like optimal latching to demonstrate the improvement in absorbed power under irregular sea condition simulations. In the second part, robust estimation of the radiation forces and states inherent in the optimal control of wave energy converters is considered. Motivated by this, low order H∞ observer design for bilinear systems with input constraints is investigated and numerically tractable methods for design are developed. A bilinear Luenberger type observer is formulated and the resulting synthesis problem reformulated as that for a linear parameter varying system. A bilinear matrix inequality problem is then solved to find nominal and robust quadratically stable observers. The performance of these observers is compared with that of an extended Kalman filter. The robustness of the observers to parameter uncertainty and to variation in the radiation subsystem model order is also investigated. This thesis also explores the numerical integration of bilinear control systems with zero-order hold on the control inputs. Making use of exponential integrators, exact to high accuracy integration is proposed for such systems. New a priori bounds are derived on the computational complexity of integrating bilinear systems with a given error tolerance. Employing our new bounds on computational complexity, we propose a direct exponential integrator to solve bilinear ODEs via the solution of sparse linear systems of equations. Based on this, a novel sparse direct collocation of bilinear systems for optimal control is proposed. These integration schemes are also used within the indirect optimal control method discussed in the first part.
Supervisor: Kerrigan, Eric Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral