Sandia’s Kelley Ruehl and Carlos Michelen (both in Sandia’s Water Power Technologies Dept.) traveled to the Boulder, Colorado, for a WEC-Sim meeting at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) National Wind Technology Center from March 3–5 in their combined effort to prepare for the public release of the WEC-Sim code, scheduled for June 2014.
One of the major accomplishments was to complete preliminary WEC-Sim code validation by comparison to the Reference Model 3 (RM3) experimental data collected by revision as part of DOE’s reference model project. The RM3 design, a two-body heaving point absorber, is shown at right. The response amplitude operator (RAO) for relative heave motion between the float and the spar was used for model validation.
The data plot (below) shows the experimental data and the WEC-Sim simulation results. The results agree well, especially for the lower range of wave periods. Previously, the WEC-Sim code has been verified through code-to-code comparisons of two wave energy converter (WEC) archetypes using the commercial codes AQWA, WaveDyn, and OrcaFlex. The latest results demonstrate initial validation of the WEC-Sim code’s functionality.
Further WEC-Sim code validation is planned for FY15. The WEC-Sim team plans to perform dedicated wave-tank experiments for WEC-Sim code validation.
During the meeting at NREL, the WEC-Sim team also worked on cleaning up the code and creating a plan for the coming months leading to the beta release.