Centre for Ocean Energy Research
Maynooth University, Ireland

WECCCOMP – WEC Control Competition


More about COER

Brief History

Wave energy research at NUI Maynooth began with the arrival of Micheál Ó Catháin, who became the group’s first research student with a self-proposed project on modelling and control of the McCabe Wave Pump (MWP). Micheál was co-author on our first successful funding proposal in the wave energy area and developed important links with other wave energy researchers and groups, including Prof. Johannes Falnes at NTNU, Norway and Prof. Mike McCormick at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. Micheál and his contemporary, Gary Nolan, were the first research students to graduate from the group. The arrival of Dr. Jean Christophe Gilloteaux in 2005 brought some much needed fundamental expertise in hydrodynamic modelling and he made an important contribution and spawned some new research directions over the 2005-2010 period, as well as organising the first NUI Maynooth Wave Energy Workshop in 2009, in conjunction with Ecole Centrale de Nantes and the French Embassy. The COER designation was adopted by the group in 2010.

33 entries « 1 of 11 »


N. Faedo, Mosquera; Puleston, P. F.

Preliminary experimental assessment of second-order sliding mode control for wave energy conversion systems (Proceedings Article)

In: ANZCC, 2022.

(Links | BibTeX)

M. Rosati, Henriques; Ringwood, J. V.

Oscillating-water-column wave energy converters: A critical review of numerical modelling and control (Journal Article)

In: Energy Conversion and Management-X, 2022.

(Links | BibTeX)

Said, H. A.; Ringwood, J. V.

Low-voltage ride-through capability enhancement of a grid-connected wave energy conversion system (Proceedings Article)

In: RENEW, 2022.

(Links | BibTeX)

33 entries « 1 of 11 »

Watch this video to find out more about COER.

WEC Control Competition RESULTS

Big news!

The WECCCOMP experimental evaluation has now concluded and the results validated. We are delighted to announce that the winner of the experimental stage was the team from IFPEN, France!

Many congratulations! In fact, the IFPEN team also took the honours at the simulation stage, showing consistently good performance over the 2 stages. However, in the end, there was little daylight between the competitors, all teams performing well in both simulation and at the experimental stage. Probably the most unexpected aspect is that the IFPEN EC score in implementation was even better than the simulation score. A remarkable achievement, considering modelling inaccuracies and noisy measurements!

The experimental performance across the sea states is given in the following bar graph:

Comparative EC scores for simulation and experimental evaluation are in the following table:

Next steps:

  • The experimental results will be published/presented in a paper at IFAC World Congress, Berlin, July 2020.
  • The simulation results were presented at OMAE 2019, Glasgow and awards presented to the first 3 placed finishers.
  • A comprehensive journal paper is currently being prepared by the organisers and competitors and hopefully hit the presses (reviews permitting!) in early 2020.
  • Options for extending WECCCOMP are currently being considered, including releasing the problem as an official benchmark problem with validated simulation (and possibly experimental) evaluation. There’s also some discussion related to the possibility of a new benchmark WEC control problem.

Stay tuned!


Energy in ocean waves is distributed across a wide range of frequencies, with a challenge to optimise the loading of a WEC to maximise power capture across a range of sea states that a wave energy installation may be subject to. While there are a significant number of studies which evaluate particular devices under particular wave excitation conditions, few studies exist which compare a number of control strategies on one (or a set of) standard device(s), with consistent wave excitation applied in each case, to level the playing field. The objective of the currently proposed competition, which will consist of a standard WEC prototype platform, is to compare the energy capture performance of various WEC control strategies evaluated, in the first instance in simulation and then, for shortlisted entrants, on the prototype device in a wave tank environment.

WEC experimental system

The system to be used in the control competition is a single degree of freedom (DOF) wave-activated body WEC, as in the following figure.

To learn more about the experimental setting, click on the button below!

Control competition requirements

Submission of control strategies will occur in two stages. In the first stage, strategies will be evaluated using a numerical model. For the second stage, a subset of the competitors from the first stage will be asked to submit a revised version of their controllers for implementation in a real-time control system, which will be evaluated through experimental wave tank testing on the physical system.

WEC numerical model

The control system should be developed in the provided numerical model of the WaveStar device developed in WEC-Sim, shown below.

To learn more about the numerical model and the WEC-Sim simulation environment, click on the button below!

Useful Links

WECCCOMP submission procedure

EWTEC 2017 conference paper

WECCCOMP information sheet

Queries related to the Control Competition ------> forum login

Queries related to the WEC-Sim software ------> forum login

Upload your files!

For competitors only (username and password will be required in order to upload your files).