Slender flexible structures in OpenFOAM

Pal Schmitt, Desmond Robinson

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

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Volume of fluid based methods have become a widely applied tool for the simulation of marine
structures. Resolving slender structural members is often a considerable challenge, due to the need to
resolve domain dimensions of the order of 100 meters in the same mesh.
In some applications, actuator line methods have been applied with great success, for example for
tidal turbines. Actuator line methods apply a force corresponding to the opposite of the drag and lift
experienced by the structures cross section to the fluid. Force values are typically based on empirical
formulae or evaluated separately and the structure is not represented in the domain mesh but defined
by element coordinates.
Slender structures under fluid loading often experience deformations. Coupling an actuator line
model with a Finite Element Beam element model allows to efficiently assess the deformation and
wake of slender structures under fluid loading. This paper presents an implementation and first
results of the coupling between turbinesFoam [1], an actuator line model for OpenFOAM, and an
FEA beam element model implemented in C++ based on [2].
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 03 Jun 2021
Event9th Conference on Computational Methods in Marine Engineering - Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 02 Jun 202104 Jun 2021
Conference number: 9th


Conference9th Conference on Computational Methods in Marine Engineering
Abbreviated titleMARINE2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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