Wave energy converter (WEC) devices are complicated systems containing hydrodynamic, mechanical, and electrical elements. WEC design efforts are primarily focused in the time-domain, using frequency-based energy analyses and numerical problem solving approaches that are staples in hydrodynamic design efforts to form the basic information set used in these time-domain development models. These approaches, however, are a time-consuming and costly methodology choice that does not lend itself to rapid or large-scale hydrodynamic simulations. This thesis describes the technology proof-of-concept research into a frequency-domain approach that addresses these deficiencies. The approach being developed is constrained by the same restrictions that are applied to the time-domain approach, including the use of frequency-domain information as the fundamental base for development. Designers of communication systems have developed tools and approaches that exploit the benefits of frequency-domain analyses in their design approaches, and knowledge from that specialized domain is applied in the development of the methodology. The process used to develop and prove this approach is mathematically rigorous.
The research into the frequency-domain approach is proven to produce results that are comparable at a fraction of the simulation time. The advantages and disadvantages of the approach are discussed, as are the benefits conferred by the advantages. Some of the results are extrapolated further and shown to address the specific requirements of the WEC design process. Finally, additional developmental opportunities, including more in-depth analysis of the issues uncovered and methodology expansion possibilities are identified and documented.