This paper presents an accurate and efficient three-dimensional computational model (3D numerical wave tank), based on fully nonlinear potential flow (FNPF) theory, and its extension to incorporate the motion of a laboratory snake piston wavemaker, to simulate experiments in a large-scale 3D wave basin (i.e. to conduct “virtual” or numerical experiments). The code is based on a higher-order boundary element method combined with a Fast Multipole Algorithm (FMA). Particular efforts were devoted to making the code efficient for large-scale simulations using high-performance computing platforms to complement experimental 3D wave basins. The numerical simulation capability can serve as an optimization tool at the experimental planning and detailed design stages. To date, waves that can be generated in the NWT include solitary, Cnoidal, and Airy waves. In this paper, we detail the model, mathematical formulation, and wave generation. Experimental or analytical comparisons with NWT results are provided for several cases to assess the accuracy and applicability of the numerical model to practical engineering problems.

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