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[new] A control and automation system for wave basins


This paper presents the new active absorption wave basin, named Hydrodynamic Calibrator (HC), constructed at the University of São Paulo (USP), in the Laboratory facilities of the Numerical Offshore Tank (TPN). The square (14 m × 14 m) tank is able to generate and absorb waves from 0.5 Hz to 2.0 Hz, by means of 148 active hinged flap wave makers. An independent mechanical system drives each flap by means of a 1HP servo-motor and a ball-screw based transmission system. A customized ultrasonic wave probe is installed in each flap, and is responsible for measuring wave elevation in the flap. A complex automation architecture was implemented, with three Programmable Logic Computers (PLCs), and a low-level software is responsible for all the interlocks and maintenance functions of the tank. Furthermore, all the control algorithms for the generation and absorption are implemented using higher level software (MATLAB®/Simulink block diagrams). These algorithms calculate the motions of the wave makers both to generate and absorb the required wave field by taking into account the layout of the flaps and the limits of wave generation. The experimental transfer function that relates the flap amplitude to the wave elevation amplitude is used for the calculation of the motion of each flap. This paper describes the main features of the tank, followed by a detailed presentation of the whole automation system. It includes the measuring devices, signal conditioning, PLC and network architecture, real-time and synchronizing software and motor control loop. Finally, a validation of the whole automation system is presented, by means of the experimental analysis of the transfer function of the waves generated and the calculation of all the delays introduced by the automation system.

Elsevier, Mechatronics 23 (2013) 94-107. link