Implementation and Verification of Cable Bending Stiffness in MoorDyn: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Cable bending stiffness capabilities have been added to MoorDyn to enable modeling of dynamic power cables. The relatively large motions experienced by floating wind turbines and wave energy converters pose a challenge for power cables, whose internal components provide significant bending resistance and are sensitive to deformation. The behavior and associated design considerations of power cables in these highly dynamic applications make coupled analysis relevant for design. MoorDyn is a lumped-mass mooring dynamics model that is used for floating wind energy simulation (often coupled with OpenFAST) and floating wave energy converter simulation (often coupled with WEC-Sim). Its existing line elasticity formulation considers axial stiffness only. To properly capture the dynamics of power cables, a cable bending stiffness model has been added that approximates cable curvature based on the difference in tangent vectors of adjacent line elements. The resulting bending moment is realized by applying forces on adjacent nodes, leaving the underlying lumped-mass formulation unchanged. The bending stiffness implementation is verified in static conditions against analytical solutions and then in a dynamic power cable scenario in comparison with OrcaFlex. The dynamic scenario uses prescribed motions and includes wave loadings on the cable. Results indicate correct implementation of bending stiffness and show close agreement with OrcaFlex.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2020
Event3rd International Offshore Wind Technical Conference (IOWTC2020) -
Duration: 18 Oct 202021 Oct 2020


Conference3rd International Offshore Wind Technical Conference (IOWTC2020)

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5000-80089 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-76968


  • bending stiffness
  • cable dynamics
  • dynamic cable
  • lumped mass
  • MoorDyn


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