Wave energy has a promising technical potential that could contribute to the future energy mix. However, costs related to the deployment of wave energy converters (WECs) are still high compared to other technologies. In order to reduce these costs, two principle options are available, a reduction in cost and an increase in productivity. This paper presents a reliability-based computational tool to identify typical decision problems and to shed light on the complexity of optimising a wave power farm. The proposed tool is used to investigate productivity and availability of a wave energy farm during 10 years of operational life. A number of optimization possibilities to improve productivity, namely vessel choice, maintenance regime, failure rate and component redundancy, are then explored in order to assess their effectiveness. The paper quantifies the yield increase and provides a practical approach to evaluate the effectiveness of strategic and operational decision options. Results, in terms of the variations in productivity and availability of the farm, are analysed and discussed. Conclusions highlight the importance of reliability-centred simulations that consider the specific decision parameters throughout the operational life to find suitable solutions that increase the productivity and reduce the running cost for offshore farms.
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