Umbilical fatigue analysis for a wave energy converter

Billy Ballard, Yi-Hsiang Yu*, Jennifer Van Rij, Frederick Driscoll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Unique umbilical designs for wave energy converters (WECs), including the ability to handle significantly larger motions and loads over long deployments, are often required when conventional marine umbilical designs for offshore oil and gas and offshore wind may not meet the design and cost needs of wave energy technologies. This study details a fatigue analysis of a dynamic power umbilical attached to a two-body floating point absorber WEC system, using the sea states provided for the PacWave testing facilities. The 6 degrees of freedom motion time history for the WEC was simulated, and the motions of the attachment point for the umbilical on the WEC and respective sea states were used to analyze the dynamic motions and fatigue of the connected power umbilical to predict the fatigue life. The results show that the fatigue damage observed is more significant in shallow water, and extensive fatigue damage may occur because of the larger curvature response of the umbilical. The umbilical configurations departing at 90 deg off incoming waves were found to have the highest fatigue life attributed to less extension or compression of the umbilical. However, additional bend stiffener/limiter features may need to be incorporated into the buoyancy section and touchdown regions to minimize curvatureinduced fatigue.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOcean Renewable Energy
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780791884416
StatePublished - 18 Dec 2020
EventASME 2020 39th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, OMAE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 3 Aug 20207 Aug 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering - OMAE


ConferenceASME 2020 39th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, OMAE 2020
CityVirtual, Online


  • Fatigue analysis
  • Umbilical
  • Wave energy converter


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