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The wave energy converter control competition (WECCCOMP): Wave energy control algorithms compared in both simulation and tank testing

Ringwood, John V.; Tom, Nathan; Ferri, Francesco; Yu, Yi Hsiang; Coe, Ryan G.; Ruehl, Kelley; Bacelli, Giorgio; Shi, Shuo; Patton, Ron J.; Tona, Paolino; Sabiron, Guillaume; Merigaud, Alexis; Ling, Bradley A.; Faedo, Nicolas


John V. Ringwood

Nathan Tom

Francesco Ferri

Yi Hsiang Yu

Ryan G. Coe

Kelley Ruehl

Giorgio Bacelli

Shuo Shi

Paolino Tona

Guillaume Sabiron

Alexis Merigaud

Bradley A. Ling

Nicolas Faedo


The wave energy control competition established a benchmark problem which was offered as an open challenge to the wave energy system control community. The competition had two stages: In the first stage, competitors used a standard wave energy simulation platform (WEC-Sim) to evaluate their controllers while, in the second stage, competitors were invited to test their controllers in a real-time implementation on a prototype system in a wave tank. The performance function used was based on converted energy across a range of standard sea states, but also included aspects related to economic performance, such as peak/average power, peak force, etc. This paper compares simulated and experimental results and, in particular, examines if the results obtained in a linear system simulation are borne out in reality. Overall, within the scope of the device tested, the range of sea states employed, and the performance metric used, the conclusion is that high-performance WEC controllers work well in practice, with good carry-over from simulation to experimentation. However, the availability of a good WEC mathematical model is deemed to be crucial.


Ringwood, J. V., Tom, N., Ferri, F., Yu, Y. H., Coe, R. G., Ruehl, K., …Faedo, N. (2023). The wave energy converter control competition (WECCCOMP): Wave energy control algorithms compared in both simulation and tank testing. Applied Ocean Research, 138, Article 103653.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 27, 2023
Online Publication Date Jul 20, 2023
Publication Date Sep 1, 2023
Deposit Date Jul 31, 2023
Publicly Available Date Aug 2, 2023
Journal Applied Ocean Research
Print ISSN 0141-1187
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 138
Article Number 103653
Keywords Wave energy; Modelling; Control; Estimation; Forecasting; Competition
Public URL


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