Date of Award

Spring 2021

Project Type


Program or Major

Ocean Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

M. Robinson Swift

Second Advisor

Martin Wosnik

Third Advisor

Kenneth Baldwin


The storm response of a point absorber wave energy device and mooring design was investigated using a Froude scaled physical model and computer software. This testing allowed the behavior of the device to be observed and analyzed in a controlled environment before future field testing at a site south of the Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire. The information gathered can then be used to make design changes and improvements before finalizing the design. A scale model of the Healy Wave Energy Converter (WEC) was built and tested in the University of New Hampshire wave tank. The data collected from this physical testing provided a reliable way to calibrate and verify a numerical model constructed using OrcaFlex. The numerical model was then subjected to storm wave conditions outside the range of the wave tank. The behavior of the WEC and mooring system were investigated for storm survivability. The proposed mooring design was found to have snap loading at storm amplitudes, raising concerns for line failure or damage to the WEC. The solution approach for reducing snap loading was to add compliance to the lines. During random sea storms, no matter the mooring configuration, the WEC experienced very violent conditions with large loads and complete submergence. The final design of the WEC will need to have watertight integrity with a mooring that minimizes line loads, while also being able to survive storm conditions.