Original Article

Journal of Marine Science and Technology

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 261-275

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Numerical study on active wave devouring propulsion

  • Liyanarachchi Waruna Arampath De SilvaAffiliated withThe University of Tokyo Email author 
  • , Hajime YamaguchiAffiliated withThe University of Tokyo


The possibility of extracting energy from gravity waves for marine propulsion was numerically studied by a two-dimensional oscillating hydrofoil in this study. The commercially available computational fluid dynamics software FLUENT was used for the unstructured grid based on the Reynolds-average Navier–Stokes equation. The free surface waves and motion of the flapping foil were implemented by customizing the FLUENT solver using a user-defined function technique. In addition, dynamic mesh technology and post processing capabilities were fully utilized. The validation of the model was carried out using experimental data for an oscillation hydrofoil under the waves. The results of the simulation were investigated in detail in order to explain the increase of propeller efficiency in gravity waves. Eight design parameters were identified and it was found that some of them greatly affected the performance of wave energy extraction by the active oscillating hydrofoil. Finally, the overall results suggested that when the design parameters are correctly maintained, the present approach can increase the performance of the oscillating hydrofoil by absorbing energy from sea waves.


Wave devouring propulsion Flapping foil Numerical simulation