HR Wallingford delivers mWave CFD simulations

UK-based civil engineering and environmental hydraulics organisation HR Wallingford has conducted computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations which helped Bombora finalize the design of its mWave wave energy device.

Image of mWave under CFD simulations (Courtesy of HR Wallingford)
mWave under CFD simulations (Courtesy of HR Wallingford)

HR Wallingford generated a numerical model of Bombora Wave Power’s mWave device in 2018 and performed CFD simulations to calculate wave forces acting on it.

The results informed the design of an mWave demonstrator prototype, which converts wave power to electricity, and will be tested at full-scale for the first time off the Welsh coast in 2021.

HR Wallingford’s work formed part of Bombora’s broader numerical modelling and small-scale physical testing program to define design loads for the demonstrator mWave.

The simulations tested mWave under seven wave conditions – from ‘normal’ to extreme wave climates – using the modified version of the open-source CFD model OpenFOAM, according to HR Wallingford.

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Assessing wave loadings before field testing is vital for improving the performance, resilience and survivability of mWave under a range of conditions.

mWave’s modular design is an innovative rubber membrane cell module structure, which can easily scale up.

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Bombora’s 1.5MW Pembrokeshire Demonstrator Project, which is supported by a £13.4 million European Regional Development Grant through Welsh Government, will showcase the potential of the technology for use in large-scale marine renewable energy projects.