The aim of this paper is to describe how to control the power-to-load ratio of a novel wave energy converter (WEC) in irregular waves. The novel WEC that is being developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory combines an oscillating surge wave energy converter (OSWEC) with control surfaces as part of the structure; however, this work only considers one fixed geometric configuration. This work extends the optimal control problem so as to not solely maximize the time-averaged power, but to also consider the power-take-off (PTO) torque and foundation forces that arise because of WEC motion. The objective function of the controller will include competing terms that force the controller to balance power capture with structural loading. Separate penalty weights were placed on the surge-foundation force and PTO torque magnitude, which allows the controller to be tuned to emphasize either power absorption or load shedding. Results of this study found that, with proper selection of penalty weights, gains in time-averaged power would exceed the gains in structural loading while minimizing the reactive power requirement.

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