Date of Award

Winter 2017

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Erin S Bell

Second Advisor

Ricardo A Medina

Third Advisor

Robert Henry


The area of tidal energy conversation has gained increased national and international attention in recent years as society makes strides to decrease reliability on fossil fuels and increase sustainability. Tidal energy installations require significant structural support systems to ensure efficient energy conversion. These installations are in areas that experience highly variable and large in magnitude environmental loads due to current speed, wave action and wind gusts.

Performance-Based Design (PBD) was initially developed in response to life safety concerns, costly levels of structure damage, and significant economy lose experience during extreme weather events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods. In the past, PBD was widely used in Performance-Based Earthquake Engineering (PBEE). Decades later, PBD was expended for wind and floods applications. There are still uncertainties for PBD, therefore, a number of methodologies were developed in recent years. The Probabilistic approach of PBD is intended to quantify the uncertainties efficiently, as quantification of uncertainties was originally used and developed for Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis. Similarly, the Tidal Turbine Deployment System (TTDS), investigated as part of this work, is a new design, unlike the normal structure design, such as office buildings, hospital, apartments, that have specific design code provisions for load development and combinations. The TTDS design process includes uncertainties related to structural demands, for example, the wave load, drag load and wind load. The goal of this study is to use the probabilistic assessment of environmental demands to verify the design, evaluate the impact of highly variable wind and wave load demands on structural performance, and explore the probability of the target anchorage force under a variety of load applications.