The hydrodynamics and flow around net meshes has recently drawn more and more attention because it is closely related to the expected forces on aquaculture. In terms of modelling the hydrodynamic forces on nets, Morison or screen force models are ordinarily. However, they mainly rely on empirical, experimental or cylindrical hydrodynamic coefficients, neglecting the flow interactions between adjacent net twines. In this study, the open-source hydrodynamic toolbox REEF3D is adopted to analyze the flow around net meshes and investigate the hydrodynamic drag on the structure. The simulation accuracy is in good agreement with flume experiments and previous research. The results demonstrate that 2 × 2 or 3 × 3 mesh cases are more reliable for studying the flow around net meshes including the flow interactions around adjacent twines. It is further shown that controlling the solidity of the net through changing net bar diameters has different effects on the flow around meshes than controlling it by the twine length. This paper presents a first step in the aim to derive a new empirical formula for the drag coefficients depending on the solidity and fluid properties which is more appropriate for to the physics involved in offshore conditions.

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