Between the Wave Energy Converters (WECs) of a farm, hydrodynamic interactions occur and have an impact on the surrounding wave field, both close to the WECs (“near field” effects) and at large distances from their location (“far field” effects). To simulate this “far field” impact in a fast and accurate way, a generic coupling methodology between hydrodynamic models has been developed by the Coastal Engineering Research Group of Ghent University in Belgium. This coupling methodology has been widely used for regular waves. However, it has not been developed yet for realistic irregular sea states. The objective of this paper is to present a validation of the novel coupling methodology for the test case of irregular waves, which is demonstrated here for coupling between the mild slope wave propagation model, MILDwave, and the ‘Boundary Element Method’-based wave–structure interaction solver, NEMOH. MILDwave is used to model WEC farm “far field” effects, while NEMOH is used to model “near field” effects. The results of the MILDwave-NEMOH coupled model are validated against numerical results from NEMOH, and against the WECwakes experimental data for a single WEC, and for WEC arrays of five and nine WECs. Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) between disturbance coefficient (Kd) values in the entire numerical domain (
) are used for evaluating the performed validation. The
between results from the MILDwave-NEMOH coupled model and NEMOH is lower than 2.0% for the performed test cases, and between the MILDwave-NEMOH coupled model and the WECwakes experimental data
remains below 10%. Consequently, the efficiency is demonstrated of the coupling methodology validated here which is used to simulate WEC farm impact on the wave field under the action of irregular waves.
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