Today, humanity is facing the great pressure of fossil fuels exhaustion and environmental pollution. This obliges governments and industries to make accelerated efforts on producing green energy. The focus is spotted on marine environment which is a vast source of renewable energy. Among several classes of designs proposed for wave energy conversion, spherical Wave Energy
Converters (WECs) have received considerable attention. The problems of water wave diffraction and radiation by a sphere has been examined by a substantial amount of literature, i.e., –, whereas in – linear hydrodynamic effects on a spherical WEC have been examined. All these research works are based on potential flow methodologies. Nevertheless, over
the last decade there has been a significant interest on Computational Fluid Dynamics CFD modelling due to its detailed results, focusing also to spherical WECs –.
In the present work a semi-analytical model is applied to solve the wave radiation problem around a spherical WEC (Figure 1), in the context of linear potential theory. The outcomes of the theoretical analysis are supplemented and compared with high fidelity CFD simulations (Figure 2 for a semi-submerged sphere). Furthermore, the two methodologies are compared with a theoretical approach for the hydrodynamic analysis of floating bodies with vertical axis as being presented in . The method is based on the discretization of the flow field around the body using coaxial ring elements, which are generated from the approximation of the sphere’s meridian line by a stepped curve.
Numerical results are given from the comparison of the three formulations, and some interesting phenomena are discussed concerning the viscous effects on the floater.