Facilitating Large-Amplitude Motions of Wave Energy Converters in OpenFOAM by a modified Mesh Morphing Approach


  • Johannes Palm Sigma Energy and Marine
  • Claes Eskilsson Research Institutes of Sweden




wave energy converter, CFD, wave-body interaction, survival, extreme waves, OpenFOAM


High-fidelity simulations using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for wave-body interaction are becoming increasingly common and important for wave energy converter (WEC) design. The open source finite volume toolbox OpenFOAM is one of the most frequently used platforms for wave energy. There are currently two ways to account for moving bodies in OpenFOAM: (i) mesh morphing, where the mesh deforms around the body; and (ii) an overset mesh method where a separate body mesh moves on top of a background mesh. Mesh morphing is computationally efficient but may introduce highly deformed cells for combinations of large translational and rotational motions. The overset method allows for arbitrarily large body motions and retains the quality of the mesh. However, it comes with a substantial increase in computational cost and possible loss of energy conservation due to the interpolation. In this paper we present a straightforward extension of the spherical linear interpolation (SLERP) based mesh morphing algorithm that increase the stability range of the method. The mesh deformation is allowed to be interpolated independently for different modes of motion, which facilitates tailored mesh motion simulations. The paper details the implementation of the method and evaluates its performance with computational examples of a cylinder with a moonpool. The examples show that the modified mesh morphing approach handles large motions well and provides a cost effective alternative to overset mesh for survival conditions.




How to Cite

Palm, J., & Eskilsson, C. (2022). Facilitating Large-Amplitude Motions of Wave Energy Converters in OpenFOAM by a modified Mesh Morphing Approach. International Marine Energy Journal, 5(3), 257–264. https://doi.org/10.36688/imej.5.257-264



EWTEC 2021 Special issue papers (Part 3)