Development of a numerical tow tank with wave generation to supplement experimental efforts
Jones, Leo M.
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This research investigates the capability of computational fluid dynamics to accurately model the performance of a vertically oscillating wave-generating wedge and resultant wave-induced loads on a submerged object in a tow tank. Specifically, the wave height, wave frequency, and unsteady forces on a submerged body were determined from numerous simulations and compared to experimentally measured data from nearly identical conditions as the simulations. Time histories of the water surface elevation were experimentally measured at various fixed locations in the tank to characterize the wave propagation. Once the wave environment was verified as being accurately captured, a fully submerged body was included in the experimental and simulated tanks. Identical waves were generated in both the physical and numerical environments, and passed over a square cross section submerged body that was located near-surface. The experimentally measured and numerically simulated unsteady forces and moments on the body were compared. The model captured loads experienced by the body quite accurately at low wavelengths, yet overestimated loads at higher wavelengths. Future studies should further refine simulation mesh resolution and investigate loads experienced by different geometries at a variety of depths to better understand over-prediction at large wavelengths.
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