Wave Energy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


After reflecting on the history of ocean wave energy research and technology development, the most prominent classification schemes for wave energy converter (WEC) technology concepts are produced, highlighting the diversity of WEC technologies that were or are under development at different levels of maturity and intensity. Three advanced WEC technology examples are provided in this article. The ocean wave energy resource is addressed with respect to its global energy potential, local variability, and issues associated with the established forms of spectral power presentation. The spectrum of theoretical modeling approaches is described, along with the range of simulation tasks and related tools. This article also covers the specific aspects of the physical modeling and scaled model testing of WES systems and subsystems. Following a comparison of the engineering and design challenges of wave energy and wind energy technology development, the WEC technology development status and process is described and analyzed. Finally, the requirements for successful WEC technology development for achieving economic WEC technology and energy production under commercial conditions are discussed, including a number of possible development and innovation pathways.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Maritime and Offshore Engineering
EditorsJ. Carlton, P. Jukes, Y. S. Choo
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-5000-65295


  • wave energy
  • wave energy converter
  • wave energy resource
  • WEC technology concept classification
  • WEC technology development


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