Embedded Controller for Wave Energy Power Take Off
Abelon’s client is a leader in AC/DC power conversion technology. The client wanted a highly reliable embedded controller design for their power converter and energy storage solution. The power converter, storage and controller were to operate within the harsh environment of an off-shore wave energy generator. A high level control and monitoring system based on shore needed to drive the overall system operation.
The brief required an industrial grade compute module with the necessary native I/O for the power converter and to drive the circuit breakers within the wave energy system. The design requires a real-time synchronous response for system control and a loosely coupled asynchronous interface with the high level control functions. A variety of communication technologies would be required, each best fit for the requirements of the system.
The chosen compute module ran a linux distribution. The main embedded application was written in C using both Modbus and CANbus communications to control and configure the power hardware. A Node.js application provided a RESTFul web API for the high level controller, allowing both systems to operate independently but communicate when required. The design provided the flexibility of a scripted core to drive system state transitions, allowing for easy reconfiguration. Abelon’s design was successfully delivered on time and on budget.