The extreme conditions modeling project (ECM) will be releasing two numerical tools for use in modeling extreme conditions of wave energy converters (WECs). Sandia and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed the WEC Design Response Toolbox, a collection of algorithms that address components of the design response analysis process. The available methods fall into five categories: (1) environmental characterization, (2) short-term extreme response, (3) long-term extreme response, (4) fatigue, and (5) design wave composition. This toolbox can be used by researchers and developers to apply the methods necessary for design response analysis of WECs.

The ECM team is also working on a tool for obtaining distributed pressure time-histories of marine structures. When designing WECs, developers are typically interested in structural loads, often relying on high fidelity fluid dynamics simulations to obtain the required distributed fluid loads, but these tend to be computationally prohibitive. The new ECM tool will provide the necessary distributed loads (as shown, left) using only mid-fidelity fluid simulations. Using the coefficients from a BEM code, such as Nemoh or WAMIT, and the WEC’s response from a time-domain code such as WEC-Sim, the resulting distributed pressure time-histories can then be imported into an FEA structural analysis.

Both tools will be presented at the 2016 Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS 2016) and eventually will be released as free, open-source, collaborative codes through GitHub.