Estimation of numerical uncertainty in computational fluid dynamics simulations of a passively controlled wave energy converter

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Abstract

The wave loads and the resulting motions of floating wave energy converters are traditionally computed using linear radiation–diffraction methods. Yet for certain cases such as survival conditions, phase control and wave energy converters operating in the resonance region, more complete mathematical models such as computational fluid dynamics are preferred and over the last 5 years, computational fluid dynamics has become more frequently used in the wave energy field. However, rigorous estimation of numerical errors, convergence rates and uncertainties associated with computational fluid dynamics simulations have largely been overlooked in the wave energy sector. In this article, we apply formal verification and validation techniques to computational fluid dynamics simulations of a passively controlled point absorber.
The phase control causes the motion response to be highly nonlinear even for almost linear incident waves. First, we show that the computational fluid dynamics simulations have acceptable agreement to experimental data. We then present a verification and validation study focusing on the solution verification covering spatial and temporal discretization, iterative and domain modelling errors. It is shown that the dominating source of errors is, as expected, the spatial discretization, but temporal and iterative errors cannot be neglected. Using hexahedral cells with low aspect ratio and 30 cells per wave height, we obtain results with less than 5% uncertainty in motion response (except for surge) and restraining forces for the buoy without phase control. The amplified nonlinear response due to phase control caused a large increase in numerical uncertainty, illustrating the difficulty to obtain reliable solutions for highly nonlinear responses, and that much denser meshes are required for such cases.
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Detaljer

The wave loads and the resulting motions of floating wave energy converters are traditionally computed using linear radiation–diffraction methods. Yet for certain cases such as survival conditions, phase control and wave energy converters operating in the resonance region, more complete mathematical models such as computational fluid dynamics are preferred and over the last 5 years, computational fluid dynamics has become more frequently used in the wave energy field. However, rigorous estimation of numerical errors, convergence rates and uncertainties associated with computational fluid dynamics simulations have largely been overlooked in the wave energy sector. In this article, we apply formal verification and validation techniques to computational fluid dynamics simulations of a passively controlled point absorber.
The phase control causes the motion response to be highly nonlinear even for almost linear incident waves. First, we show that the computational fluid dynamics simulations have acceptable agreement to experimental data. We then present a verification and validation study focusing on the solution verification covering spatial and temporal discretization, iterative and domain modelling errors. It is shown that the dominating source of errors is, as expected, the spatial discretization, but temporal and iterative errors cannot be neglected. Using hexahedral cells with low aspect ratio and 30 cells per wave height, we obtain results with less than 5% uncertainty in motion response (except for surge) and restraining forces for the buoy without phase control. The amplified nonlinear response due to phase control caused a large increase in numerical uncertainty, illustrating the difficulty to obtain reliable solutions for highly nonlinear responses, and that much denser meshes are required for such cases.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftInstitution of Mechanical Engineers. Proceedings. Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment
Volume/Bind232
Tidsskriftsnummer1
Sider (fra-til)71–84
ISSN1475-0902
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2018
PublikationsartForskning
Peer reviewJa

    Forskningsområder

  • Wave energy converter, Passive control, Computational fluid dynamics modelling, Numerical uncertainty, Verification and validation
ID: 262480765