Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) jointly have been developing WEC-Sim, an open-source time-domain numerical model for simulating wave energy devices that are comprised of rigid bodies, power-take-off systems, and mooring systems. The WEC-Sim development team has continued to improve the code’s capabilities and recently held a workshop/training class with the intent of expanding WEC-Sim’s user- and developer-base. The team also conducted experimental tank tests to develop an open-source data set for validating WEC-Sim and other WEC simulation tools.

WEC-Sim Code Release: WEC-Sim v2.0 was released early this year. New features include algorithms for simulating higher-order nonlinear wave-body interaction, body-to-body interaction, a Morison element model, and post-processing scripts for better visualization. The capability to couple WEC-Sim to MoorDyn, an open-source lumped-mass-based mooring model, was also added in v2.0, which allows the simulation of realistic mooring configurations.

WEC-Sim Training Course: Kelley Ruehl and Carlos Michelen from Sandia Labs, with Yi-Hsiang Yu and Jennifer van Rij from NREL, offered a free two-day training class, open to the public, on the use of WEC-Sim. The training course, hosted by Oregon State University and broadcast internationally via webinar, drew academic researchers and industry developers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, and Italy. Topics included WEC-Sim theory, installation and workflow, code structure, application cases, advanced features, and collaborative open source code development. Furthermore, the training focused on building a collaborative code development environment for WEC-Sim, which is essential for the open-source numerical model development to be successful and sustainable. Several attendees shared how they have used WEC-Sim for modeling their devices and how it has helped them move their technology forward. The instructors collected participant suggestions and feedback which will be very helpful for the WEC-Sim development team to improve the numerical model further.