view of a breaking wave

CFD simulations inform Bombora’s design of wave energy product, mWave™

Our computer simulations have helped Bombora finalise the design of its wave energy product, mWave™, which is now being assembled as a full-scale prototype to demonstrate how it can harness wave power.

We generated a numerical model of Bombora’s mWave™ device in 2018 and performed CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations to calculate wave forces acting on it. The results informed the design of an mWave™ demonstrator prototype, which converts wave power to electricity, and will be tested at full-scale for the first time off the Welsh coast in 2021.

Our work formed part of Bombora’s broader numerical modelling and small-scale physical testing program to define design loads for the demonstrator mWave.

Our simulations tested mWave™ under seven wave conditions – from ‘normal’ to extreme wave climates. To do so, we used our own modified version of the open-source CFD model OpenFOAM®. Assessing wave loadings before field testing is vital for improving the performance, resilience and survivability of mWave  under a range of conditions.

mWave’s modular design is an innovative rubber membrane cell module structure, which can easily scale up. Bombora’s 1.5MW Pembrokeshire Demonstrator Project, which is supported by a £13.4 million European Regional Development Grant through Welsh Government, will show the potential of the technology for use in large-scale marine renewable energy projects.

Watch how simulations show wave pressures over mWave.

Watch Bombora’s latest project update on this YouTube video.

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