Simulating the wave-induced response of a submerged wave-energy converter using a non-hydrostatic wave-flow model

Dirk P. Rijnsdorp, Jeff E. Hansen, Ryan J. Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

With the increasing interest in wave energy, and when moving towards commercial-scale wave-energy projects, a detailed understanding of the interactions between single and arrays of wave-energy converters (WECs) with the ambient wave and flow field becomes imperative for both design and operational purposes, as well as assessment of their environmental impacts. This work presents a new numerical approach to simulate the nonlinear evolution of the waves and their interactions with a submerged wave-energy converter at the scale of a realistic coastal region. The numerical approach is based on the non-hydrostatic framework, and implemented in the open-source SWASH model, which provides an efficient tool to simulate the nonlinear evolution of waves over realistic coastal bathymetries. Here, we present a numerical extension to the non-hydrostatic approach to account for interactions between waves and a submerged point absorber, and to capture the response of such a wave energy device. Model results are compared with an analytical solution based on potential flow theory, a CFD simulation, and experimental data to validate its capabilities in simulating the wave-WEC interactions for both linear and nonlinear wave conditions. Overall, the results of this validation demonstrate that the model captures the wave-structure interactions and the body response with satisfactory accuracy. Notably, the results also indicate that a coarse vertical resolution was sufficient to capture these dynamics, making the model sufficiently computationally efficient to simulate the interaction of waves and WECs over large scales. As a consequence, this new modelling approach should provide a promising new alternative to simulate the interactions between nonlinear wave fields and submerged point absorbers at the scale of a realistic coastal region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-204
Number of pages16
JournalCoastal Engineering
Volume140
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

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