A post-processing technique for removing ‘irregular frequencies’ and other issues in the results from BEM solvers

  • Thomas Kelly Dundalk Institute of Technology
  • Iñaki Zabala SENER Ingeniería y Sistemas, S.A.
  • Yerai Peña-Sanchez Maynooth University
  • Markel Penalba Mondragon University
  • John V. Ringwood Maynooth University
  • João C.C. Henriques Universidade de Lisboa
  • Jesús M. Blanco University of the Basque Country
Keywords: Boundary element methods, Irregular frequencies, Numerical modelling


Within the wave energy community, hydrodynamic coefficients obtained from boundary element methods (BEMs) are commonly used to predict the behaviour of wave energy converters (WECs) in response to incident waves. A number of commercially-available BEM solvers exist, with a number of open-source alternatives also available. While open-source solvers have an obvious cost advantage compared to their commercial counterparts, the results from such solvers are often susceptible to so-called ‘irregular frequencies’, which arise from ill-conditioning in boundary integral problems, and result in large under- or over-estimation of hydrodynamic parameters at certain excitation frequencies. Furthermore, while commercial solvers may employ techniques to suppress the effects of irregular frequencies, such solvers may, under certain circumstances, exhibit other problems in the hydrodynamic results produced. For example, the results obtained for the added mass at high frequencies, and the infinite frequency added mass for a water column, may be incorrect. The current work first focusses on an approach to remove the effects of irregular frequencies from the results obtained for the radiation damping of a particular WEC geometry. The use of radiation damping results to obtain values for the added mass, through the use of the Ogilvie relations, is then considered.
The technique described herein has been implemented in BEMRosetta, an open-source tool which allows a user to view the results from various BEM solvers, as well as converting input files between solvers. The results presented in this paper have been obtained using the BEMRosetta implementation.

How to Cite
Kelly, T., Zabala, I., Peña-Sanchez, Y., Penalba, M., Ringwood, J., Henriques, J., & Blanco, J. (2022). A post-processing technique for removing ‘irregular frequencies’ and other issues in the results from BEM solvers. International Marine Energy Journal, 5(1), 123-131. https://doi.org/10.36688/imej.5.123-131
EWTEC 2021 Special issue papers (Part 1)