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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Hydrokinetic turbine power converter and controller system design and implementation Liu, Mofei


Due to environmental considerations and decline of fossil fuels, searching for the viable energy alternatives is a pressing need. In order to meet the energy demand globally, research into the renewable energy technologies must be pursued. Wind energy has emerged as the leader of new energy source, while other types of energy sources continue to be investigated. Hydrokinetic power as a potential opportunity to harvest energy is being explored recently. Because the hydrokinetic turbines are still in an early stage of development, study on the hydrokinetic system is an active topic of academic research. Although water speed is instable and unpredictable, the hydrokinetic system can still operate at the peak power point. For this reason, the power converter and rotor speed controller are the most important components in this study. In the first two chapters some background studies and some system components are introduced. In this project, the maximum power point tracking is realized by the hill-climb searching method and the lookup table method, plus the analysis and comparison of these two methods are presented. In terms of rotor speed controller design, the Field Oriented Control strategy is applied and discussed. The presented hydrokinetic system is a stand-alone system which throws excessive energy to a load resistor. In order to demonstrate the feasibility of the system, the hydrokinetic system model is simulated in the PSIM software. A number of cases are simulated with the PSIM model to validate the feasibility of this hydrokinetic system. Finally, the project objectives are achieved and some of the hardware is tested. Future work is still required, such as the bench testing with a real PMSG, a variable frequency drive, and the optimization of the maximum power point tracking method and rotor speed controller with the hardware test results.

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