The present work addresses the need for an efficient, versatile, accurate and open-source numerical tool to be used during the design stage of wave energy converters (WECs). The device considered here is the heaving point-absorber developed and tested by Sandia National Laboratories. The smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) method, as implemented in DualSPHysics, is proposed since its meshless approach presents some important advantages when simulating floating devices. The dynamics of the power take-off system are also modelled by coupling DualSPHysics with the multi-physics library Project Chrono. A satisfactory matching between experimental and numerical results is obtained for: (i) the heave response of the device when forced via its actuator; (ii) the vertical forces acting on the fixed device under regular waves and; (iii) the heave response of the WEC under the action of both regular waves and the actuator force. This proves the ability of the numerical approach proposed to simulate accurately the fluid–structure interaction along with the WEC’s closed-loop control system. In addition, radiation models built from the experimental and WAMIT results are compared with DualSPHysics by plotting the intrinsic impedance in the frequency domain, showing that the SPH method can be also employed for system identification.
This article belongs to the Special Issue Wave Energy System Hydrodynamics Modeling and Application of High-Performance Computing.