D1 - Control of ORE farms

D - Sensing, Control and Electromechanics

Status - published
Last updated on: 23/03/2022


It is difficult to simultaneously maximize power generation, reduce fatigue load and minimize environment impact in complex ORE systems.


Develop and validate control technology for ORE farms to balance competing requirements.

Context And Need

The control of individual wind turbines has been well developed but techniques for tidal and wave devices are lagging. In addition load reduction and robust control technology for the next generation of wind turbines e.g. up to 20MW, faces new and big challenge, in particularly with blades becoming much larger and more flexible. Furthermore the control technology of ORE farms (as complicated distributed systems) needs further investigation to maximize the overall yield and increase fatigue lifetime while also minimising environmental impacts.


There are research challenges in the development of control technologies in order to optimise the performance of ORE systems under varying operating and survivability conditions, both for individual devices and for arrays. There is a need to develop and validate control technology to control the individual ORE device and the whole ORE farm to maximize the power capture, reduce the fatigue load and minimize the environment impact.

Impact Potential

Improved farm scale control will increase energy yield, reduce maintenance costs, minimise environment impact and thus enable a transition to larger ORE devices and farms. Improved control is needed to enable control of devices affected by combined wind, wave and tidal forcing. This can help reduce the cost of renewable energy and increase the deployment of ORE farms.

Research Status

Current activity includes:


Active research projects:


Supergen ORE Hub Flexible funding Research

  • Enhancing Control Capability of ORE Systems for Stress Management and Grid Support
    Lead Institution - University of Warwick
    Renewable energy systems work in variable and uncertain conditions, and this feature would naturally ask for transient overload capabilities of all components involved. Among the main components in an offshore renewable energy system, the power electronic stage is the only one lacking such a capability. This project will research a novel concept to assign, for the first time, a usable overload capability to power semiconductor devices and to use this capability in offshore renewable energy systems, for the purposes of stress reduction and grid support.
  • Passive Control of Wave Induced Platform Motions for Semi-submersible FOWTs
    Lead Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
    Nearly all offshore wind turbines are located in relatively shallow water mounted on fixed bottom support structures. These sites have limited high winds and the turbines are usually highly visible – it therefore makes sense to extend wind turbine systems to deeper water. However, fixed bottom support structures are not feasible in deeper water, so it is necessary to explore floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT) systems. FOWT using semi-submersible support structures can experience unacceptably large heave, pitch and roll motions in extreme waves which can affect the performance of the turbine and can cause significant damage. This project will evaluate the potential and effectiveness of applying tuned liquid dampers with anti-heave plates to reduce the motions.


Links to Industry Priorities:


We would also like to invite UK researchers and industry stakeholders within ORE to submit links to research projects, both past and present, for inclusion within the landscape.

Therefore, if you have a UK-based research project within an area of ORE that you feel is relevant to a specific research theme or challenge within the Research Landscape, click HERE to submit your research project to the research landscape


PhD projects in Offshore Renewable Energy

In order to better understand the breadth of ORE research currently being conducted in the UK, the Supergen ORE Hub has collated from its academic network, UK Centres for Doctoral Training and Industrial partners, a list of PhDs currently being undertaken in ORE.

Access a PDF of the list and find out more about including your PhD.

Return to homepage