This paper presents the findings from using several commercial computational fluid dynamics codes in a joint numerical and experimental project to simulate WRASPA, a new wave energy converter (WEC) device. A series of fully 3D non-linear simulations of WRASPA are presented. Three commercial codes STAR-CCM, CFX and FLOW-3D are considered for simulating the WRASPA device and final results are presented based on the use of Flow-3D. Results are validated by comparison to experimental data obtained from small scale tank tests undertaken at Lancaster University (LU). The primary aim of the project is to use numerical simulation to optimize the collector geometry for power production over a range of likely wave climates. A secondary aim is to evaluate the ability of commercial codes to simulate rigid body motion in linear and non-linear wave climates in order to choose the optimal code with respect to compute speed and ease of problem setup. Issues relating to the ability of a code in terms of numerical dissipation of waves, wave absorption, wave breaking, grid generation and moving bodies will all be discussed. The findings of this paper serve as a basis for an informed choice of commercial package for such simulations. However the capability of these commercial codes is increasing with every new release.

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