WEC-Sim (Wave Energy Converter SIMulator)

WEC-Sim (Wave Energy Converter Simulator) title graphic with schematics

WEC-Sim (Wave Energy Converter SIMulator) is an open-source code for simulating wave energy converters. The code is developed in MATLAB/SIMULINK using the multi-body dynamics solver Simscape Multibody. WEC-Sim has the ability to model devices that are comprised of bodies, joints, power take-off systems, and mooring systems. WEC-Sim can model both rigid bodies and flexible bodies with generalized body modes. Simulations are performed in the time-domain by solving the governing wave energy converter equations of motion in the 6 Cartesian degrees-of-freedom, plus any number of user-defined modes. The WEC-Sim Applications repository contains a wide variety of scenarios that WEC-Sim can be used to model, including desalination, mooring dynamics, nonlinear hydrodynamic bodies, passive yawing, batch simulations and many others. The code is very flexible and can be adapted to many scenarios within the wave energy industry.

**Applicants must consult with WEC-SIM staff at least 10 business days prior to the closing of the application period. Applicants who do not meet this requirement will be asked to apply for future support.**

Points of Contact:
WEC-Sim is a collaboration between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office.

Please direct WEC-SIM inquiries to both PI”s listed below:

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WEC-Sim (Wave Energy Converter SIMulator)

WEC-Sim (Wave Energy Converter Simulator) title graphic with schematics

WEC-Sim (Wave Energy Converter SIMulator) is an open-source code for simulating wave energy converters. The code is developed in MATLAB/SIMULINK using the multi-body dynamics solver Simscape Multibody. WEC-Sim has the ability to model devices that are comprised of bodies, joints, power take-off systems, and mooring systems. WEC-Sim can model both rigid bodies and flexible bodies with generalized body modes. Simulations are performed in the time-domain by solving the governing wave energy converter equations of motion in the 6 Cartesian degrees-of-freedom, plus any number of user-defined modes. The WEC-Sim Applications repository contains a wide variety of scenarios that WEC-Sim can be used to model, including desalination, mooring dynamics, nonlinear hydrodynamic bodies, passive yawing, batch simulations and many others. The code is very flexible and can be adapted to many scenarios within the wave energy industry.

**Applicants must consult with WEC-SIM staff at least 10 business days prior to the closing of the application period. Applicants who do not meet this requirement will be asked to apply for future support.**

Points of Contact:
WEC-Sim is a collaboration between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office.

Please direct WEC-SIM inquiries to both PI”s listed below:

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University of Washington – Harris Hydraulics: Alice C. Tyler Flume

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The Alice C. Tyler flume is a free-surface water channel with independent control of flow speed (up to 1.1 m/s), water depth, and water temperature (10 – 35 oC). This allows the Reynolds and Froude numbers to be independently varied during turbine experiments. Turbulence intensity is relatively low (1-3%). The flume side walls and bottom are glass, providing optical access for flow diagnostics, including Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV) and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). Using existing instrumentation and data acquisition, cross-flow turbine rotors and axial-flow turbine blades can be easily tested.

Capabilities include:

  • Cross-flow and axial flow turbine performance and load characterization
  • Flow-field quantification

Flume dimensions:

Length: 4.6m, Width: .76m, Height: .7m

Max depth: .6m

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Point of Contact:
Brian Polagye – bpolagye@uw.edu

University of Washington is affiliated with the Pacific Marine Energy Center.

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University of Washington – Harris Hydraulics: WASIRF

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The Washington Air-Sea Interaction Research Facility (WASIRF) is a wind-wave-current tank facility formerly located at the NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility. WASIRF is a laboratory testing tank designed to investigate wind-wave-current interactions. The head space above for air flow measures 0.45 m.  The maximum wind speed is 10 m/s and the maximum water current in both directions is 0.30 m s-1 with the full working depth and 0.51 m s-1 with a working depth of 0.45 m using a false bottom.  An electronically controlled linear actuator at one end of the tank can generate any wave frequency or pattern up to 10 Hz. The computer control of wind, current, and hydraulic wave generating units can accurately repeat unsteady phenomena to allow its statistical study, as well as automate the facility operation. The water within the facility can be heated and maintained at warm temperatures, while the air flow can be cooled and humidity controlled at cool temperatures.

Capabilities include:

  • Wind-water interactions testing
  • Breaking wave dynamics and turbulence

Flume dimensions:

Length: 12m, Width: .91m, Height: 1.22m

Max depth: .75m

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Point of Contact: Curtis Rusch – curusch@uw.edu

University of Washington is affiliated with the Pacific Marine Energy Center.

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University of Washington – Oceanography Test Tank

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The UW School of Oceanography”s test tank is a 23,283 gallon, room-temperature salt water tank covered by 9 large heavy lids that allow for forklift traffic across the top. Access to the tank is achieved by lifting off each lid with a 5 ton overhead hoist. The hoist can also be used for loading and unloading equipment in the large indoor staging area. Viewing the inside of the tank from below is possible from 8 large windows accessible through the basement.

Capabilities include:

  • General component testing

Tank dimensions:

Length: 7.3m, Width: 3m, Height: 3.6m

Max depth: 3.6m

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Point of Contact: Curtis Rusch – curusch@uw.edu

University of Washington is affiliated with the Pacific Marine Energy Center.

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University of Washington – Open Water Capabilities

The UW has a number of active research programs in oceanography, ocean physics, and marine energy. Technical Support recipients can access a variety of equipment and expertise for this open water research, including marine energy converter sound characterizing using Drifting Acoustic Instrumentation SYstems (DAISYs) and in-situ environmental monitoring with the Adaptable Monitoring Package (AMP). Depending on the deployment location, permits may not be required for activities that do not make contact with the seabed, but are almost always required for activities that do.

The following capabilities may be suitable under TEAMER:

  • Drifting (DAISY) or stationary passive acoustic measurement
  • ADCP: acoustic Doppler current profiling
  • AMP: integrated instrumentation package
  • Wave measurement: drifting (SWIFT) or stationary

Point of Contact:
Curtis Rusch – curusch@uw.edu

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University of Washington – Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics:GPUSPH

Modeling capability of performing a fully coupled high-resolution numerical modeling of fluid-structure interaction, with particular focus on improving our understanding of the nonlinear response and impact of wave energy converters (WECs). The modeling framework couples an open-source 3D Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) model GPUSPH (www.gpusph.org) with an open-source multi-physics simulation engine Project Chrono (www.projectchrono.org). The coupled model simultaneously resolves the dynamics of a moving body (e.g., WECs) and the surrounding turbulent flow. The Lagrangian GPUSPH model results are available at SPH nodes, or particles, that are distributed irregularly in space as they move with the fluid around a moving object. The dynamics of the moving body are then computed by the Project Chrono model using the hydrodynamic force provided by the GPUSPH model.

The model is implemented on GPUs and is relatively computationally efficient. The model has been successfully used for studying various scientific and engineering problems involving nonlinear and breaking surface gravity waves. The coupled model is capable of simulating multi-body systems. One of the current model developments focuses on extending the model capability to resolve flexible objects.

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Point of Contact:
Curtis Rusch – curusch@uw.edu

University of Washington is affiliated with the Pacific Marine Energy Center.

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University of Washington – Applied Physics Laboratory – R/V Russell Davis Light

R/V Russell Davis Light is a 65-foot catamaran vessel with an 6″x10″ test bed that can be lowered between the hulls and exposed to clean open water while moored or motoring. Available instrumentation includes a generator, torque cells, and instruments for measuring water velocity and temperature. The system is primarily used for performance characterization of cross-flow turbine rotors, with a maximum test speed of 2.5 m/s. The Vessel Adaptable Monitoring Package (VAMP) can also be deployed with the test article to observe operation with stereo cameras, a hydrophone, and multibeam sonar.

TEAMER support is limited to Lake Washington in the Seattle area.

Point of Contact:
Curtis Rusch – curusch@uw.edu

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University of Washington – Applied Physics Laboratory: Ocean Engineering & Benchtop Dynamometer

The Applied Physics Lab Ocean Engineering Department has expertise in the design, fabrication, deployment, testing and evaluation of complete marine energy systems, from mechanical design to power electronics and controls. APL also maintains a well-equipped machine shop capable of making test models, production prototypes and precision instrumentation. The shop has lathes, milling machines, drill presses, a grinding facility, CAD/CAM, pressure and heat treatment facilities, and a carpenter shop.

The Applied Physics Lab benchtop dynamometer is currently configured for characterizing generator performance and efficiency up to 150 N-m torque and 100 RPM. The maximum power capacity is approximately 1.5 kW. Higher torques (up to 500Nm) can possibly be accommodated.

Capabilities include:

  • Generator testing
  • Component testing
  • Power take-off testing
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA) modeling
  • Composite blade design
  • Control Systems engineering
  • Ocean testing plan design

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Point of Contact: Curtis Rusch – curusch@uw.edu

University of Washington is affiliated with the Pacific Marine Energy Center.

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University of Michigan – Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory

The Aaron Friedman Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory is a suite of labs and facilities that engage in classic naval architecture experiments, such as calm water resistance, seakeeping, and propeller tests. The MHL supports education and research for the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Michigan. It is a highly flexible facility that hosts a variety of specialized testing programs for researchers at the University of Michigan, Industry, and Government Agencies. The staff provides technical guidance and support in experiment design, instrumentation used, and conducting the experimental tests. The MHL also conducts fundamental research in areas of current interest such as hull form drag reduction and planing hull and surface effect ship dynamics, renewable ocean energy harvests, advanced material marine propulsors, and control surfaces.

The MHL is home to a suite of facilities. The Physical Modeling Basin (towing tank) which is equipped with a manned bridge carriage and unmanned trailer with speed capabilities of 0.08 to 6.10 m/s, an electrically driven, computerized wedge-type wavemaker that is capable of generating regular waves and irregular waves. A Wind-Wave Tank has both wind driven and plunging wedge wave capabilities. The Recirculating Cavitation Channel is a 1:14 scale model of the U.S. Navy’s Large Cavitation Channel (LCC). The Parallel Flow Mixing Loop includes two vertical laminar and turbulent single and two-phase flows. Also on-site are the Machine, Electrical and Modeling shops which are available for the construction and fabrication of models, instrumentation, specialized experimental and testing equipment, and prototyping.

Capabilities include:

  • Tow tank testing
  • Wind-water interactions testing
  • Physical model testing
  • WEC and TEC hydrodynamics
  • Dynamometer

Tank dimensions:

Length: 109.7m, Width: 6.7m, Height: 6.35m

Max depth: 3.5m

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Point of Contact: James Gose – jgose@umich.edu or Kevin Maki – kjmaki@umich.edu

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