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Energies 2014, 7(12), 8178-8200;

Reliability-Based Structural Optimization of Wave Energy Converters

Department of Civil Engineering, Aalborg University, Sofiendalsvej 11, 9200 Aalborg SV, Denmark
Wavestar, Park Allé, 2605 Brøndby, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 October 2014 / Revised: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 November 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
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More and more wave energy converter (WEC) concepts are reaching prototypelevel. Once the prototype level is reached, the next step in order to further decrease thelevelized cost of energy (LCOE) is optimizing the overall system with a focus on structuraland maintenance (inspection) costs, as well as on the harvested power from the waves.The target of a fully-developed WEC technology is not maximizing its power output,but minimizing the resulting LCOE. This paper presents a methodology to optimize thestructural design of WECs based on a reliability-based optimization problem and the intentto maximize the investor’s benefits by maximizing the difference between income (e.g., fromselling electricity) and the expected expenses (e.g., structural building costs or failure costs).Furthermore, different development levels, like prototype or commercial devices, may havedifferent main objectives and will be located at different locations, as well as receive varioussubsidies. These points should be accounted for when performing structural optimizationsof WECs. An illustrative example on the gravity-based foundation of the Wavestar deviceis performed showing how structural design can be optimized taking target reliability levelsand different structural failure modes due to extreme loads into account. View Full-Text
Keywords: LCOE; probabilistic reliability analysis; reliability level; reliability-basedoptimization; wave energy; WEC; Wavestar LCOE; probabilistic reliability analysis; reliability level; reliability-basedoptimization; wave energy; WEC; Wavestar
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ambühl, S.; Kramer, M.; Sørensen, J.D. Reliability-Based Structural Optimization of Wave Energy Converters. Energies 2014, 7, 8178-8200.

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