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New research at HR Wallingford in collaboration with the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) in the US, has developed a toolkit which can be used to optimise the design of floating offshore renewable energy devices, by accurately simulating the response of these floating structures under realistic sea states.
 
The toolkit consists of two main components: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) using Proteus open-source software, and Multi-Body Dynamics (MBD) using the Chrono open-source solver. Both models have been thoroughly validated separately and together. The researchers put a special focus on the fully dynamic simulation of mooring cables, as they can significantly affect station‑keeping and the overall response of the device, which in turn affects its energy extraction efficiency, The research project has been sponsored by CHL and the Engineer Research and Development Centre (ERDC), and HR Wallingford, under a joint collaboration agreement. Additional support was provided by the IDCORE doctorate programme from the Energy Technologies Institute and the Research Councils Energy Programme.
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