Numerical investigation of a wave glider in head seas

Fuming Yang, Weichao Shi, Xu Zhou, Bin Guo, Dazheng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
116 Downloads (Pure)


A wave glider comprises a surface boat, which harvests energy from wave and solar power, a submerged glider containing six pairs of tandem hydrofoils and a tether connecting them in between. This paper presents a numerical simulation to predict the wave glider dynamic performance in head seas with the aid of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) method. The simulation involves two commercial CFD software packages, FINE/Marine and STAR-CCM+.
Firstly, unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) simulation was built in FINE/Marine with volume of fluid (VOF) model to simulate the flow around the surface boat and the tandem hydrofoils as a system, followed by the high-fidelity simulation of the passive eccentric rotation of the underwater tandem hydrofoils in STAR-CCM + using overset mesh. By taking the advantages of both softwares, manual iteration was conducted to achieve a converged result. Consequently, by analyzing these results, the surge force acting on the surface boat and the passive eccentric rotation law of the hydrofoils have been achieved which are proved to be the main factors affecting the propulsion efficiency of the wave glider.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-138
Number of pages12
JournalOcean Engineering
Early online date23 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2018


  • wave glider
  • passive eccentric rotation
  • surge force


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