Advanced modelling for wave energy conversion

Title of the research project

OpenWave-NLFK4ALL: Validation and Optimization of an Open-Source Novel Nonlinear Froude-Krylov Model for Advanced Design of Wave Energy Converters

Scientific area

Ocean Engineering, Nonlinear modelling, Experimental validation

Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow

Giuseppe Giorgi


Wave energy represents a great untapped potential, but modern technologies are not economically viable yet, partially due to modelling uncertainties. This project aims at developing accessible, accurate and fast mathematical models for more effective and reliable design of wave energy converters.

Description of the research project

Although wave energy converters’ dynamics are typically nonlinear, simpler linear but imprecise models are extensively used due to their computational convenience. In contrast, nonlinear models currently available are more accurate but too slow for design optimisation or control applications. OpenWave aims to develop, validate, and disseminate a novel class of nonlinear models, which will realise an unprecedented pairing of accuracy and computational speed (100 to 1000 times faster than homologous existing models). Conversely to other slower nonlinear models, this new model can facilitate effective design and optimisation of the device, enable real-time power optimisation and model-based control. The project will greatly impact the wave energy community, making a high-performance modelling tool easily accessible to any stakeholder for a variety of advanced design purposes. This project is comprised of 3 work packages, which accomplish: (1) validation of the model for axisymmetric devices, (2) expansion and validation of the model for pitching platform devices, and (3) enhancement of computation performance and release of an open-source software. In addition, OpenWave plans a secondment at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) of Lisbon, where the fellow will collaborate with expert wave energy device developers, accessing their testing facilities, their device and their experimental data for validation of the model.

Impact on fellow career and on society

OpenWave will produce new knowledge for the advancement of the renewable energy sector and plans many outreach activities to involve citizens and stakeholders.

This fellowship will expand the career perspectives of the fellow: a highly multidisciplinary plan is defined, building upon and extending beyond his current competencies. Thans to the project, the fellow will be able to fully develop innovative ideas from his PhD research, and will be provided with an unparalleled opportunity to grow as a scientist and engineer.

Short cv of Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow

Giuseppe Giorgi obtained his Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering with high honours at Politecnico di Torino in July 2014, where he was also awarded with a research scholarship in the field of wave energy in order to continue the work he started for his master’s thesis. He moved to the Centre for Ocean Energy Research (COER), Maynooth, Ireland, to obtain his 4-year long PhD degree, dealing with nonlinear hydrodynamic modelling of wave energy converters, with several international collaborations and periods abroad.


Giuliana Mattiazzo, DIMEAS-Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino

Partner Organisation

Istituto Superior Tecnico (IST) Lisbon, Portugal

OpenWave project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 832140

  • Budget: 171.470
  • Start date: 1/05/2019
  • End date: 30/04/2021