Control Engineering Services for
Marine Renewable Energy Industry



Given the great potential of marine energy, research and development work has been ongoing in development of marine energy technologies. For wave energy, for example, exciting R&D is being carried out to improve the power capture efficiencies and device survivability in extreme seas, and of wave energy devices that are capable of handling the complex and challenging operating conditions, including advanced materials design and novel wave energy conversion (WEC) prime mover geometries. These have greatly contributed towards improving the overall performance of WECs by widening the operational envelope and reducing maintenance, and more recently through the application of advanced control technologies. The ultimate goal is to improve the competitiveness of wave energy relative to other forms of renewable energy such as wind and solar, by lowering the overall levellised cost of energy (LCOE) and the capital expenditure (CAPEX).


We offer the following consultancy services to clients in the marine energy industry:

Why Choose Us

ISC is ideally positioned to help clients in the marine energy sector. We have undertaken several wave energy R&D activities and pride in our unique ability to look at challenging control problems from a state-of-the art theoretical perspective combined with highly practical experience of getting control working in the field. We are well versed with the challenges in taking control from early conception right through to deployment.

Our engineers are highly qualified and have many years of experience in:

We have an in-house MATLAB/Simulink toolbox for advanced control design, including nonlinear Model Predictive Control, which was used in a recently completed project investigating the feasibility of nonlinear optimal control to wave energy conversion applications.


We provide standard, industry specific and bespoke courses on a range of fundamental and advanced control engineering topics.

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Industry-Specific Training

We can adapt individual courses to suit your company's industry/business. (Examples)

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Nonlinear Optimal Control: Concept, Practicalities and Benefits

ISC led this Wave Energy Scotland contract research project (Stage 1) (ref WES_ISC_CS11) to demonstrate the feasibility and potential of applying nonlinear optimal control to WEC systems. The study combined a simulation based analysis of the key performance and survivability indicators and a qualitative assessment of the potential benefits of nonlinear Model Predictive Control in tackling WEC control challenges.

Some strong potential benefits of applying nonlinear Model Predictive Control to the low-level WEC control were demonstrated:

  • Where sea-states exceeded the device limits, the nonlinear MPC was able to keep the power take-off (PTO) forces within limits whilst achieving average power capture improvements from 8% to 20% (and up to 54% in a specific case) over a baseline fixed gain proportional-integral controller.
  • Using a cost function formulation that maximised both the power capture and survivability when PTO constraints were active, it was possible for the nonlinear MPC to reduce the peak-to-peak force significantly (by 82%) while increasing power capture (by 7.8%).
  • The nonlinear MPC also showed improved robustness and the capability to change the optimiser's trade-offs online to best match prevailing conditions.

A good model derived for the NMPC design can benefit other aspects of the WEC engineering process. The use of models in design and commissioning, for example, will shorten the overall engineering time thus lowering the CAPEX and improving affordability.


FOREWAVE was a Wave Energy Scotland contract research project (Stage 1) lead by Innosea UK to develop methods for estimating the current sea wave state and for the short-term prediction of wave force using real-time motion data.

ISC's role in the project was to investigate the real-time implementation feasibility of the neural network-based short-term prediction methods.

These methods will benefit WEC developers as it will be possible for them to obtain the present wave state as an input for their device enabling improved control to deliver higher performance power capture and survivability, leading to an overall lower LCOE.

Mocean Energy Novel WEC Development

This is a Wave Energy Scotland contract research project (Stage 2) led by Mocean Energy and aims to develop the performance and engineering of Mocean Energy's novel wave energy converter, which is a hinged raft (a so-called floating attenuator WEC) with a rotational power take-off (PTO) with design innovation in the geometry of the two hulls.

ISC leads the control system development activities for the device.