A comparison study of a generic coupling methodology for modeling wake effects of wave energy converter arrays

Tim Verbrugghe, Vicky Stratigaki, Peter Troch, Raphael Rabussier, Andreas Kortenhaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Wave Energy Converters (WECs) need to be deployed in large numbers in an array layout in order to have a significant power production. Each WEC has an impact on the incoming wave field, by diffracting, reflecting and radiating waves. Simulating the wave transformations within and around a WEC array is complex; it is difficult, or in some cases impossible, to simulate both these near-field and far-field wake effects using a single numerical model, in a time- and cost-efficient way in terms of computational time and effort. Within this research, a generic coupling methodology is developed to model both near-field and far-field wake effects caused by floating (e.g., WECs, platforms) or fixed offshore structures. The methodology is based on the coupling of a wave-structure interaction solver (Nemoh) and a wave propagation model. In this paper, this methodology is applied to two wave propagation models (OceanWave3D and MILDwave), which are compared to each other in a wide spectrum of tests. Additionally, the Nemoh-OceanWave3D model is validated by comparing it to experimental wave basin data. The methodology proves to be a reliable instrument to model wake effects of WEC arrays; results demonstrate a high degree of agreement between the numerical simulations with relative errors lower than 5% and to a lesser extent for the experimental data, where errors range from 4% to 17%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1697
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Coupling
  • Numerical modeling
  • WECwakes project
  • Wave basin experiments
  • Wave energy
  • Wave propagation
  • Wave-structure interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparison study of a generic coupling methodology for modeling wake effects of wave energy converter arrays'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this