An innovative Hardware-In-the-Loop rig for linear PTO testing


  • Giacomo Alessandri VGA S.r.l.
  • Federico Gallorini
  • Luca Castellini
  • Dan El Montoya
  • Erick Fernando Alves
  • Elisabetta Tedeschi



Hardware-In-the-Loop testing, Power Take-Off, test rig, electro-mechanical system, numerical modelling, Wave Energy Converter


This paper describes the activities related to the design, manufacturing and commissioning of an innovative Hardware-In-the-Loop test rig for linear Power Take-Off testing. The rig is characterised by a fully coupled architecture in which three electro-mechanical units integrating a ballscrew and an electrical machine can actuate on a linear axis, either as motor or generator. A preliminary mechanical design of the test rig was carried out by identifying the most demanding conditions. The electrical and mechanical designs were assessed through a de-risking simulation of the overall test rig set-up, considering faults between the motors and respective power converters. The resulting rig setup includes a structure that embeds the three units, an electrical control panel and a control system. The use of electro-mechanical units increases the flexibility of the setup and simplifies the test of extreme conditions such as maximum output power or actuation force. Moreover, it allows reusing the power produced by the generating devices, thus reducing operational costs of the tests. The control system integrates a real-time hardware-in-the-loop simulation platform, a supervisory control and data acquisition systems. Those offer not only the possibility of easily tuning parameters but also testing new control strategies, operational situations, and failures of a power-take-off system in very realistic conditions.




How to Cite

Alessandri, G., Gallorini, F., Castellini, L., Montoya, D. E., Alves, E. F., & Tedeschi, E. (2022). An innovative Hardware-In-the-Loop rig for linear PTO testing. International Marine Energy Journal, 5(3), 305–314.



EWTEC 2021 Special issue papers (Part 3)