WEC-Sim Phase 1 testing at the Oregon State University Hinsdale Directional Wave Basin

As part of the Wave Energy Converter SIMulator (WEC-Sim) project, Phase 1 of WEC-Sim experimental testing is underway at Oregon State University’s (OSU) Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory. WEC-Sim is an open source code for modeling the rigid-body dynamics and performance of wave energy converters in the time-domain code. For more information about the WEC-Sim code, refer to the WEC-Sim website.

To validate the WEC-Sim code, the WEC-Sim team is developing a numerical benchmarking data set resulting from experimental testing of the Floating Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter (FOSWEC). The FOSWEC, a heavily instrumented device, was selected as a benchmarking case for WEC modeling based on the selection criteria detailed below, namely its ability to increase modeling complexity by iteratively adding/removing degrees of freedom, body-to-body interactions, and non-linear hydrodynamics.

Phase 1 of WEC-Sim experimental testing focuses on system identification tests to characterize the FOSWEC and troubleshooting the experimental setup. Phase 2 will focus on characterizing the response of the FOSWEC to a range of incident wave conditions. Using the FOSWEC will provide insight into new measurement techniques and inform extreme conditions modeling.

The FOSWEC and motion constraint (in lieu of a traditional mooring system) were delivered to Hinsdale in early November 2015. After installation and troubleshooting of the experimental setup, Phase 1 of WEC-Sim experimental testing began on Nov. 30 at OSU Hinsdale in the Directional Wave Basin, with completion scheduled for Dec. 11, 2015. Phase 2 testing is scheduled for spring 2016. An image from the first week of WEC-Sim experimental testing is shown below.