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Time Series-, Time-Frequency- and Spectral Analyses of Sensor Measurements in an Offshore Wave Energy Converter Based on Linear Generator Technology

Journal: Energy and Power Engineering
ISSN 1949-243X

Volume: 05;
Issue: 01;
Start page: 70;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Wave Power | Wave Energy Converter | Linear Generator | Sensor Measurements | Spectral Analysis | Cogging | Filtering | Laser Triangulation Sensor | Draw-Wire Sensor | Force Transducer | Strain Gauges | Search Coil | Power Generation

Inside the second experimental wave energy converter (WEC) launched at the Lysekil research site on the Swedish west coast in March 2009 a number of sensor systems were installed for measuring the mechanical performance of the WEC and its mechanical subsystems. One of the measurement systems was a set-up of 7 laser triangulation sensors for measuring relative displacement of the piston rod mechanical lead-through transmission in the direct drive. Two measurement periods, separated by 2.5 month, are presented in this paper. One measurement is made two weeks after launch and another 3 months after launch. Comparisons and correlations are made between different sensors measuring simultaneously. Noise levels are investigated. Filtering is discussed for further refinement of the laser triangulation sensor signals in order to separate noise from actual physical displacement and vibration. Measurements are presented from the relative displacement of the piston rod mechanical lead-through, from magnetic flux in the air gap, mechanical strain in the WEC structure, translator position and piston rod axial displacement and active AC power. Investigation into the measurements in the time domain with close-ups, in the frequency domain with Fast Fourier transform (FFT) and with time-frequency analysis with short time Fourier transform (STFT) is carried out to map the spectral content in the measurements. End stop impact is clearly visible in the time-frequency analysis. The FFT magnitude spectra are investigated for identifying the cogging bandwidth among other vibrations. Generator cogging, fluctuations in the damping force and in the Lorenz forces in the stator are distinguished and varies depending on translator speed. Vibrations from cogging seem to be present in the early measurement period while not so prominent in the late measurement period. Vibration frequencies due to wear are recognized by comparing with the noise at generator standstill and the vibration sources in the generator. It is concluded that a moving average is a sufficient filter in the time domain for further analysis of the relative displacement of the piston rod mechanical lead-through transmission.
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