New open-source WEC simulation tool available

Illustration/Wavestar WEC (Photo: Wavestar A/S)

openWEC has been created to give wave energy researchers and students an easy, free to use, all-in-one WEC simulation tool.

openWEC is written in python, and uses the Qt design language for the GUI development. The user can choose between several WEC simulators, including Wavestar, Oyster, Pelamis, or custom simulator.

The first three options are simplified versions of actual wave energy converter prototypes where the user has only limited control over the parameters, unlike the custom options where user can develop a completely new WEC device.

After selecting a simulator, the user can construct a device by combining different basic shapes into a single WEC device using the mesh tool. Also, the hydrodynamic parameters can be calculated using the open-source BEM solver Nemoh.

Time-domain modelling of the WEC in a specific sea state is also available, with the possibility of modelling regular and irregular waves, using one of the two PTO strategies available: a linear damper, or a coulomb damper, openORE states.

The position and velocity of the WEC can be calculated, together with the absorbed power, with an included simple post-processor which allows the user to plot the frequency-domain and time-domain parameters.

According to openORE, the user has the ability to save all the selected parameters and reload them when the model needs to be rerun.

The current version only allows for single body WECs, but multi-body simulations will be supported in the future, openORE informed.

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