Success Stories

Embedded controller for wave energy power take off

The 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.

Our 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. 


The chosen compute module ran an embedded Linux distribution which was customised for this project. 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.