Structured Innovation of High-Performance Wave Energy Converter Technology: Preprint

Jochem Weber, Daniel Laird

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Wave energy converter (WEC) technology development has not yet delivered the desired commercial maturity nor, and more importantly, the techno-economic performance. The reasons for this have been recognized and fundamental requirements for successful WEC technology development have been identified. This paper describes a multi-year project pursued in collaboration by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories to innovate and develop new WEC technology. It specifies the project strategy, shows how this differs from the state-of-the-art approach and presents some early project results. Based on the specification of fundamental functional requirements of WEC technology, structured innovation and systemic problem solving methodologies are applied to invent and identify new WEC technology concepts. Using Technology Performance Levels (TPL) as an assessment metric of the techno-economic performance potential, high performance technology concepts are identified and selected for further development. System performance is numerically modelled and optimized and key performance aspects are empirically validated. The project deliverables are WEC technology specifications of high techno-economic performance technologies of TPL 7 or higher at TRL 3 with some key technology challenges investigated at higher TRL. These wave energy converter technology specifications will be made available to industry for further, full development and commercialisation (TRL 4 - TRL 9).
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2018
Event2015 European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference - Nantes, France
Duration: 6 Sep 201511 Sep 2015


Conference2015 European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference
CityNantes, France

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-64744


  • high techno-economic performance
  • structured innovation
  • techniques of inventive problem solving
  • technology development
  • technology performance level (TPL)
  • technology readiness level
  • TIPS
  • TRIZ
  • wave energy converter


Dive into the research topics of 'Structured Innovation of High-Performance Wave Energy Converter Technology: Preprint'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this