Experimental and numerical investigation of a taut-moored wave energy converter: a validation of simulated mooring line forces
Journal article, 2021

A reliable simulation model to calculate the motion and force responses of wave energy converters (WECs) is imperative to ensure the reliability and long-term performance of WEC systems; these aspects are fundamental to achieving full commercialisation of wave energy. A simulation model was developed and validated concerning the simulated WEC buoy motions in a previous study; this study validated the mooring force calculations for the same model. The example WEC system comprises a buoy, a power take-off (PTO) system, and a three-leg mooring system wherein each leg is divided into two taut segments joined by a submerged float. A 1:20 physical model was built and tested in the Deepwater Offshore Basin at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Numerical models were developed to simulate the coupled hydrodynamic and structural responses of the WEC system, primarily using potential flow theory, the boundary element method, the finite element method, and the Morison equation. The simulated and measured axial force results at the top ends of the six mooring segments were compared; the results agreed best in the lower segments of each mooring leg and in the moorings on the downwind side because of the PTO system uncertainties and the uncalibrated damping in the numerical model. Nonetheless, the numerical model reasonably predicted the moorings’ accumulated fatigue damage, demonstrating that the model can be reliably used for mooring structural analyses. The study also used the validated numerical model to simulate a full-scale WEC system installed in Runde, Norway. A comparison of the results from the full-scale measurements and simulations shows that the numerical simulation model exhibited a good predictive capability for the mooring forces of the full-scale WEC system.


taut mooring

mooring forces

model validation

numerical simulation

wave energy converter


Shun-Han Yang

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

Jonas Ringsberg

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

Erland Johnson

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Marine Technology

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

ZhiQiang Hu

Newcastle University

Ships and Offshore Structures

1744-5302 (ISSN) 1754-212X (eISSN)

Vol. 15 S1 S55-S69

ELASTMOOR - Elastic mooring systems for wave energy converters

Swedish Energy Agency (43995-1), 2017-04-01 -- 2020-05-31.

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