HAPiWEC is a wave energy research project run in partnership by the University of Strathclyde and University of Edinburgh. We are funded by EPSRC (UKRI) and are supported by our industrial partners WEst Atlantic Marine Energy Community (WEAMEC), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Wave Energy Scotland (WES) and Renewable Dynamics.


The HAPiWEC project has been developed in response to the ESPRC Marine Wave Energy Call. Wave energy is at a critical juncture in its development with competing technologies such as wind and solar having seen rapid reductions in their levelized cost of energy (LCOE) in recent years. Much of that reduction in LCOE stems from technology de-risking and through scaling up in terms of device size and quantities. As infrastructure-heavy industries, there is an imperative to maximise energy capture from expensive hardware. But how will the wave energy community meet demanding LCOE targets of £90/MWh by 20351 without large scale investment to scale up numbers and sizes of devices? One suggestion is that better wave energy control can reduce LCOE dramatically by both improving energy capture and extending device lifetime, in some cases without the need for hardware redesign. A well-known study suggests implementation of control algorithms could improve energy capture by 14-50% [1]. Experience from other renewable technologies reinforces the need for Control: it has delivered cost reductions for wind power and in the developing marine tidal energy sector it may prove crucial to mitigating unwanted effects of the highly variable resource.

This project proposes that through the implementation of rapid-prototyping hardware and remotely accessible user control, novel control algorithms can be demonstrated and validated at unprecedented levels of efficiency. The project aims to open access to the developed integrated WEC control system, on the hypothesis that, through attracting new control ideas and widening participation, a further step-change in the demonstration of WEC yield improvements and confidence in device survivability can be established.

[1] Hong et al., “Review on electrical control strategies for [WECs],” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2014