Experimental and numerical investigation of a taut-moored wave energy converter—a validation of simulated buoy motions
Journal article, 2018
This study presents an experimental and numerical investigation of a taut-moored wave energy converter (WEC) system with a point absorber type of WEC. The WEC system consists of a buoy, a unique three-leg two-segment mooring system with submerged floaters, and a power take-off system designed for the current experiment as a heave plate. The main objective of the study is to validate a numerical simulation model against experiments carried out in an ocean basin laboratory. Two physical models in model scales 1:20 and 1:36 were built and tested. The detailed experimental testing program encompasses tests of mooring system stiffness, decay tests, and different sea state conditions for ocean current, regular and irregular waves. A numerical model in the model scale 1:20 was developed to simulate coupled hydrodynamic and structural response analyses of the WEC system, primarily using potential flow theory, boundary element method, finite element method, and the Morison equation. Several numerical simulations are presented for each part of the experimental testing program. Results for the WEC buoy motions under operational conditions from the experiments and the numerical simulations were compared. This study shows that the simulation model can satisfactorily predict the dynamic motion responses of the WEC system at non-resonant conditions while at resonant conditions additional calibration is needed to capture the damping present during the experiment. A discussion on simulation model calibration with regard to linear and non-linear damping highlights the challenge to estimate these damping values if measurement data are not available.
wave energy converter