Embedded Controller for Wave Energy Power Take Off

Business brief:

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.

Abelon approach:

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. 

Outcome:

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. 

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