Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Don Resio

Second Advisor

Dr. Brian Kopp

Rights Statement

Third Advisor

Dr. William Dally

Department Chair

Dr. Osama Jadaan


Renewable energy sources are essential to our future, not only because they generally minimize harm to our environment but are also a relatively free source of energy that are available for generations to come. Wind and solar energy are proven sources of renewable energy, but both are highly variable. On the other hand, water wave energy is relatively persistent in locations around the world. Many researchers have tried to capture the energy of ocean waves, some were successful, but most were not. Harnessing wave energy is not a simple matter. One must design systems that can withstand the extreme forces of waves, the corrosive nature of salt water, and biofouling effects that can impact the system, while safely extracting energy from waves. This thesis presents the process followed in developing a new system to capture wave energy that has the potential to overcome many of the problems faced by other wave energy convertors (WEC). The concept of the design consists of a floating compliant structure that utilizes a mechanical system to harness water wave energy. The floating system can house several mechanical systems within the same structure, improving its power production and utilizing a greater area on the sea surface. The methodology uses linear wave theory to simulate different wave conditions to calculate the available energy to the system. This model provides estimates of the orbital motion of water particles which can be used to quantify the motions that such a system will undergo. The model can also be used to calculate the forces acting on the structure assuming rigid conditions. As with wind and solar power the wave energy greatly varies depending on the wave conditions, making the design of the structure much more difficult. The designed system must be capable of generating energy at low and high wave conditions and surviving extreme wave events.