Influence of Heave Plate Topology on Reaction Force

Curtis Rusch, Ama Hartman, Benjamin Maurer, Brian Polagye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


In this study, we explore the role of heave plate topology on fluid reaction forces using three, representative shapes: a hexagonal flat plate, a hexagonal conic with an open top, and the same with a closed top that encloses a fluid mass. We force each test article sinusoidally in a quiescent tank and decompose the reaction force using forms of the Morison equation for phase-invariant and phase-dependent parameterizations. We find that a flat plate generates 5.3 % more fluid reaction force than the open conic topology, and 21.4% more than the enclosed conic. Asymmetric topologies generate asymmetric reaction forces, but the magnitude of asymmetry is limited by nearly symmetric fluid inertia forces, which dominate over drag for these test articles. Additionally, we observe asymmetric vortex dynamics for the flat plate when the Keulegan–Carpenter number is between 1 and 2, accompanied by a shift in the phase of the peak force by ≈7% of the oscillation period. As a consequence of this shift, the hydrodynamic coefficients estimated from the phase-dependent Morison equation decomposition are asymmetric, suggesting that phase-dependent representations may not provide physical insight in some hydrodynamic regimes.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number110054
Number of pages9
JournalOcean Engineering
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-81523


  • Added mass
  • Enclosed fluid
  • Heave plates
  • Hydrodynamic asymmetry
  • Oscillatory flow
  • Wave energy


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