The assessment of structural loads and design of wave energy converters (WECs) has primarily been driven by the expertise of the oil and gas (O&G), offshore wind and maritime industries. This includes application of well-established recommended practices, standards, and guidelines. WECs, however, feature design and risk criteria departing from the aforementioned, requiring careful application, as well as the requirement to develop specific approaches to properly assess structural loads.
The content of this chapter focuses on WEC considerations in the engineering design phase, ie, the major design considerations, technical requirements and control of risks for a WEC. It is demonstrated that the site, type of WEC and its keys aspects drive the applicability of methodologies and modelling techniques, for example the level of sophistication on derivation of hydrodynamic loading, structural modelling and refinement of modelling of the power take-off (PTO). Design criteria for structural response are discussed as well as recommendations for evaluation of fatigue and extreme loads.