Within the wind turbine industry, there is a general desire towards developing larger and larger turbines, while simultaneously improving efficiency and reliability. At the same time, wave energy is at a stage, where the last technology push still remains, before this may become a significant factor in the future energy supply system. Common for the two areas are, however, that they are dealing with extreme forces and/or torques, in terms of pitching, yawing, braking and transmission system in wind turbines as well as the power take-off system in wave energy converters. Here fluid power (oil hydraulic) technology not only has the potential to overcome and solve many of the technical challenges, which are foreseen and which may otherwise be limiting factors, but also improve on existing solutions. For large scale wave energy converters, fluid power is for example the only realistic available technology capable of handling the extremely large and slowly reversing torques/forces.
The background for these expectations may be found in the development of new components, sensors and component types, which not only brings forth new functionality, but which also yields promises of much higher efficiencies, better reliability and robustness and opens up for much more intelligent control of the components and systems.
The Fluid Power in Wind and Wave Energy research programme is therefore concentrated around the three classes of core activities: development of new components, designing new and better systems and development of advanced control strategies. All these activities are based on truly mechatronic design approach and a strong combination of theoretical work, simulation, experimental testing and validation, benefitting from the departments multi-displinary expertise area, while combining the key areas of fluid technology, electrical and mechanical engineering, control theory and optimization.