Your browser does not support JavaScript!

access icon openaccess Evaluation of maximum power point tracking in hydrokinetic energy conversion systems

Maximum power point tracking is a mature control issue for wind, solar and other systems. On the other hand, being a relatively new technology, detailed discussion on power tracking of hydrokinetic energy conversion systems are generally not available. Prior to developing sophisticated control schemes for use in hydrokinetic systems, existing know-how in wind or solar technologies can be explored. In this study, a comparative evaluation of three generic classes of maximum power point scheme is carried out. These schemes are (a) tip speed ratio control, (b) power signal feedback control, and (c) hill climbing search control. In addition, a novel concept for maximum power point tracking: namely, extremum seeking control is introduced. Detailed and validated system models are used in a simulation environment. Potential advantages and drawbacks of each of these schemes are summarised.


    1. 1)
      • 15. El-Tamaly, A.M., El-Tamaly, H.H., Cengelci, E., et al: ‘Low cost PWM converter for utility interface of variable speed wind turbine generators’. Applied Power Electronics Conf. and Exposition, 1999, Dallas, TX, USA, March 1999.
    2. 2)
    3. 3)
    4. 4)
      • 21. Johnson, K.E., Fingersh, L.J., et al: ‘Methods for increasing region 2 power capture on a variable speed wind turbine’, Trans. ASME, 2004, 126, pp. 10921100.
    5. 5)
      • 2. Verdant Power Canada ULC.: ‘Technology evaluation of existing and emerging technologies– water current turbines for river applications’, Natural Resources Canada, Technical Report, NRCan-06-01071, 2006.
    6. 6)
      • 17. Svensson, J.: ‘Voltage angle control of a voltage source inverter. Application to a grid-connected wind turbine’. EPE ‘95, pp. 539544.
    7. 7)
      • 8. Khan, J., Iqbal, T., Quaicoe, J.: ‘Design considerations of a straight bladed Darrieus rotor for river current turbines’. IEEE ISIE, 9–13 July 2006.
    8. 8)
      • 9. Lopes, L.A., Lhuilier, J., Khokar, M.F., et al: ‘A wind turbine emulator that represents the dynamics of the wind turbine rotor and drive train’. PESC, September 2005.
    9. 9)
      • 14. SWEA SWEA- Grid Tie Inverter: UWT-I-250 ST-Kit. [Online]. Available at, (2009, August).
    10. 10)
      • 16. Huang, H., Clang, L.: ‘Energy flow principles of IGBT inverters in wind energy conversion system’. CCECE 2000, vol. 1, 7–10 March 2000, pp. 545549.
    11. 11)
    12. 12)
      • 13. Arteche, F., Allongue, B., Szoncsó, F., et al: ‘EMI filter design and stability assessment of DC voltage distribution based on switching converters’. Seventh Workshop on Electronics for LHC Experiments, Stockholm, Sweden, September 2001.
    13. 13)
      • 11. Khan, M.J., Iqbal, M.T., Quaicoe, J.E.: ‘Simplified parameter estimation technique of brushless dc generators’. NECEC 2006, St. John's, NL, November 2006.
    14. 14)
      • 18. Mirecki, A., Roboam, X., Richardeau, F.: ‘Comparative study of maximum power strategy in wind turbines’. ISIE-2004, vol. 2, 4–7 May 2004, pp. 993998.
    15. 15)
      • 4. Ginter, V.: ‘Robust gain scheduled control of a hydrokinetic turbine’. Master's thesis, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, 2009.
    16. 16)
    17. 17)
    18. 18)
    19. 19)
    20. 20)
      • 24. Chioua, M., Srinivasan, B., Perrier, M., et al: ‘Effect of excitation frequency in perturbation-based extremum seeking methods’. Eighth Int. IFAC Symp. on Dynamics and Control of Process Systems, Cancun, Mexico, 2007, vol. 1.
    21. 21)
      • 10. Khan, M.J., Iqbal, M.T.: ‘Simplified modeling of rectifier-coupled brushless DC generators’. ICECE, Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 2006.
    22. 22)
      • 6. Sin, J., Rag, C., Jeong, G., et al: ‘New control method of maximum power point tracking for tidal energy generation system’. Int. Conf. on Electrical Machines and Systems, 2007. ICEMS, October 2007.
    23. 23)
      • 23. Ariyur, K.B., Krstić, M.: ‘Real-time optimization by extremum-seeking control’ (Wiley InterScience, September2003), ISBN: 978-0-471-46859-2.
    24. 24)
      • 3. Khan, J., Iqbal, T., Quaicoe, J.: ‘Power tracking control challenges in hydrokinetic energy conversion systems’. IEEE PES General Meeting 2011, 2011.

Related content

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address