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Marine and Coastal Engineering

The QUB Marine Research Group (MRG), School of Natural and Built Environment (SNBE), are using the power of supercomputing to model offshore and coastal structures. Many tools developed in the group can be applied to a wide range of engineering problems, but a special emphasis lies on the design and development of marine renewable energy.

Wave energy converters are machines built to convert the energy in water waves into electrical energy. Those devices must be tested and optimised to provide maximum efficiency and power while surviving the most challenging offshore conditions. Any device must thus be tested for a large range of wave characteristics, shape variations and power take off settings.

A single simulation considering all the physical processes around the free surface is already challenging, so HPC applications are essential to cover the entire design space.


Figure 1: Simulation (left) and physical experiment (right) of a flap type wave energy converter in extreme seas.

Numerical methods developed by the group have also been used for the simulation of tidal turbines and in the design of a novel concrete offshore wind towers.


For further information:

Dr. Pal Schmitt (PI):

Linked Publications:

 Schmitt, P., & Robinson, D. (2022). A Coupled Actuator Line and Finite Element Analysis Tool. OpenFOAM® Journal, 2, 81–93.

Ransley, E. J., Brown, S. A., Hann, M., Greaves, D. M., Windt, C., Ringwood, J., Davidson, J., Schmitt, P., Yan, S., Wang, J. X., Wang, J. H., Ma, Q., Xie, Z., Giorgi, G., Hughes, J., Williams, A., Masters, I., Lin, Z., Chen, H., ... Bingham, H. (2021). Focused wave interactions with floating structures: A blind comparative study. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Water and Maritime Engineering, 174(1), 46-61.

Schmitt, P., Windt, C., Davidson, J., Ringwood, J. V., & Whittaker, T. (2020). Beyond VoF: alternative OpenFOAM solvers for numerical wave tanks. Journal of Ocean Engineering and Marine Energy.