All posts by Cameron McNatt



DTOcean, which stands for Optimal Design Tools for Ocean Energy Arrays, aims at at accelerating the industrial development of ocean energy power generation knowledge, and providing design tools for deploying the first generation of wave and tidal energy converter arrays. It gathers 18 partners from 11 countries (Ireland, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, France, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and United States of America) under the coordination of the University of Edinburgh.

DTOcean work planning has been implemented as five content-orientated Work Packages (Hydrodynamics, Electrical Sub-systems, Moorings & Foundations, Installation and Operations & Maintenance) guided by two defining work packages (Scenarios and Management & Coordination) which set the underpinning scope in relation to a range of array sizes and hydrodynamic layouts. The outputs, feedbacks and interactions within these culminate in the Integration Work Package where the design tools are actually developed.

The newly released, open-source, integrated DTOcean v1.0 software package can be downloaded here.

Ocean MOOC

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course, and there is currently one running on oceans:

Today (7 July, 2016) at 9 pm UK time, there will be a question and answer session on ocean energy with Ally Price from Wave Power Conundrums:

Should be great!

openWEC: an easy-to-use, all-in-one WEC simulation tool


Previously, software allowing users to simulate WECs, from meshing through power absorption, has only been commercially available. However, now, in order to give wave energy researchers and students an easy-to-use, all-in-one WEC simulation tool, the software openWEC has been created.
openWEC is written in python, and uses the Qt design language for the GUI development. Both the source code and a compiled executable are available open-source via Github:

When executing the program, the user can choose between several WEC simulators:

  • Wavestar Simulator
  • Oyster Simulator
  • Pelamis Simulator
  • Custom Simulator

The first three options are simplified versions of actual wave energy converter prototypes. Here, the user has only limited control over the parameters. When a user wants to develop a completely new WEC device, the Custom Simulator should be selected.

After selecting a simulator, the user enters the main GUI. There are 4 tab windows, each with a different purpose (see Figure):

  • Mesh tool: creation of the mesh. The device can be constructed by combining different basic shapes into a single WEC device
  • Nemoh: frequency-domain modelling of the WEC. Here, the hydrodynamic parameters are calculated using the open-source BEM solver Nemoh.
  • Simulation: time-domain modelling of the WEC in a specific sea state. Regular and irregular waves are possible. Two PTO strategie can be chosen: a linear damper or a coulomb damper. The position and velocity of the WEC are calculated, together with the absorbed power.
  • Post-processing: a simple post-processor allowing the user to plot the frequency-domain and time-domain parameters.

The user has the ability to save all the selected parameters and reload them when the model needs to be rerun. The current version only allows for single body WECs, but multibody simulations will be supported in the future.

WEC3: codes that work


At EWTEC 2015, a great project wave presented: WEC3 (pronounced WEC cubed), which stands for Wave Energy Converter Code Comparison. From their EWTEC paper (which can be found here):

The objectives of WEC3 are to verify and validate numerical modelling tools that have been developed specifically to simulate wave energy conversion devices and to inform the upcoming IEA OES Annex VI Ocean Energy Modelling Verification and Validation project. WEC3 is divided into two phases. Phase 1 consists of a code-to-code verification and Phase II entails code-to-experiment validation.

The codes under consideration are:

Comparison of codes to one another and to experiments benefits the code developers, giving them confidence in their results (something which is very important in numerical modelling), and benefits the community as a whole, providing validated tools for WEC design.