Master's Thesis Defense - Akshith Subramanian

November 8, 2018 - 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Duke 324, ME Conference Room

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science
M.S. in Engineering – Mechanical Engineering

Who:  Akshith Subramanian
When:  Thursday, November 8, 2018
Where:  Duke 324, ME Conference Room
Time:  4:00-5:00 PM
Title:  Predicting the Diffraction Forces on a Wave Energy Converter using BEM and CFD Approach
Co-Advisors:  Dr. Russell Keanini and Dr. Navid Goudarzi

Alternative energy sources address concerns about fossil fuels such as environmental degradation, public health issues, and finite energy source. Compared to wind and solar powers, wave power has a higher energy density and easier to forecast. However, non-linear, complex, and turbulent nature of oceans necessitate a more in-depth flow field analysis before the deployment of wave energy converters (WECs). This research explores the hydrodynamic forces on two-point body absorber WEC, reference model 3 (RM3) developed by the Department of Energy (DOE), to be deployed in North Carolina shores. The wave data from US 192 buoy station was used to calculate the hydrodynamic forces (diffraction force in this work) on the RM3 using (1) DOE WEC-Sim software and (2) computational fluid dynamics (CFD). In the first approach, a full-scale model was studied. In the second approach, based on the North Carolina ocean depth along the coast, 1/50, 1/100, and 1/200 scalded RM3 were studied. A volume of fluid (VoF) Eulerian multiphase flow model together with realizable k-ε turbulence model was used to study the generated 5th order approximation Stokes wave on the RM3. The grid analysis verified the mesh resolution and the computational model was validated using a recent work by Aidan et al. on the floating part of the RM3. The main challenges in setting up the computational domain are elaborated and appropriate solutions are provided. The next step of this research include modeling the radiation forces to determine the total hydrodynamic forces on the RM3 when deployed along North Carolina shores.