Wave energy conversion can have a significant role in the transition to a net-zero energy system. However, cost reductions are still required for this technology to be commercially competitive. To achieve commercialisation at a reasonable expense, disruptive innovations at early stages of development need to be enabled. Thus, to explore more of the design space, design limits need to be defined. Although physical limits, such as the maximum capture width and the Budal upper bound, have been defined, more realistic limits considering the variability of the resource, device dimensions and the actual hydrodynamic behaviour of different shapes can help provide further insights. This is relevant to both technology developers and funding bodies wanting to identify potential areas for innovation. In this study, the use of multi-objective optimisation is proposed to explore these limits, by investigating the optimal relationship between average annual power production and device size. This relationship depends on resource level, mode of motion used for power extraction and hull shape. The obtained fundamental relationships fall within the existing physical limits, but provide further insights into the impact of different factors on these limits. This allows for a more direct comparison with the performance of state-of-the-art wave energy converters.