Maximizing the surge amplitude of a floater through an adaptable mooring tightening technique




Wave Energy Converter, Adaptable mooring, Surge motion harnessing, Multi-body dynamics, Wave flume experiments



A technique to optimize the response of Wave Energy Converters (WECs) by maximizing the amplitude of motion along the surge direction is presented. This is achieved by utilizing an adaptable mooring tightening technique for a floater moored with tension legs (tendons). To gain a deeper understanding of the effect of sea states and mooring cable lengths on the surge response of the system, a series of numerical simulations were conducted for various wave conditions while varying the length of the mooring cables. WEC-Sim [1] was used to solve the multi-body dynamics of a rectangular cuboid floater by solving the equations of motion using a time-domain formulation. The dynamics of the mooring cables were simulated using the MoorDyn model with a lumped-mass formulation [2]. To validate the accuracy of the numerical methods, a series of experimental tests were performed in a small-scale wave tank. It was observed that tightening the mooring cables by decreasing their length amplifies the surge motion of the floater while the mooring forces in the heave direction rise due to the increased tension in the cables. Stretching the cables further was found to (i) decrease the surge amplitude and (ii) drastically increase the mooring forces, threatening the integrity of the cables. Therefore, there is an optimum value of the length of the cables that maximizes the surge amplitude of the floater while ensuring that the cables will not break. The impact of other mooring cable parameters such as diameter and material properties were also evaluated. More specifically, increasing the stiffness by increasing the diameter or the tensile modulus of elasticity was found to reduce the floater’s surge amplitude. For the geometry used in this study, the optimum length, diameter and properties of the cables are provided for several sea states. The current results lay the foundations for the design of new types of WECs that harness the surge motion of a floater rather than the heave which is the most common approach for floating WECs.


[1]: Kelley Ruehl, David Ogden, Yi-Hsiang Yu, Adam Keester, Nathan Tom, Dominic Forbush, Jorge Leon, Jeff Grasberger, and Salman Husain. (2022, September), WEC-Sim (Version v5.0.1), DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7121186.

[2]: Hall, M., & Goupee, A. (2015). Validation of a lumped-mass mooring line model with DeepCwind semisubmersible model test data. Ocean Engineering, 104, 590–603.



How to Cite

A. Asiikkis, D. Grigoriadis, and A. Vakis, “Maximizing the surge amplitude of a floater through an adaptable mooring tightening technique”, Proc. EWTEC, vol. 15, Sep. 2023.