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Open AccessArticle

On the Assessment of Numerical Wave Makers in CFD Simulations

Centre for Ocean Energy Research, Maynooth University, W23 Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
Department of Fluid Mechanics, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, H-1111 Budapest, Hungary
Marine Research Group, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT9 5AG, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7(2), 47;
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Fluid Dynamics for Ocean Surface Waves)
A fully non-linear numerical wave tank (NWT), based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), provides a useful tool for the analysis of coastal and offshore engineering problems. To generate and absorb free surface waves within a NWT, a variety of numerical wave maker (NWM) methodologies have been suggested in the literature. Therefore, when setting up a CFD-based NWT, the user is faced with the task of selecting the most appropriate NWM, which should be driven by a rigorous assessment of the available methods. To provide a consistent framework for the quantitative assessment of different NWMs, this paper presents a suite of metrics and methodologies, considering three key performance parameters: accuracy, computational requirements and available features. An illustrative example is presented to exemplify the proposed evaluation metrics, applied to the main NWMs available for the open source CFD software, OpenFOAM. The considered NWMs are found to reproduce waves with an accuracy comparable to real wave makers in physical wave tank experiments. However, the paper shows that significant differences are found between the various NWMs, and no single method performed best in all aspects of the assessment across the different test cases. View Full-Text
Keywords: wave generation; wave absorption; numerical wave tank; computational fluid dynamics (CFD); OpenFOAM wave generation; wave absorption; numerical wave tank; computational fluid dynamics (CFD); OpenFOAM
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Windt, C.; Davidson, J.; Schmitt, P.; Ringwood, J.V. On the Assessment of Numerical Wave Makers in CFD Simulations. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7, 47.

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