Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor 1

Wayne W. Weaver

Committee Member 1

David Wilson

Committee Member 2

Flavio Costa

Committee Member 3

Gordon Parker


Many governments around the world are pledging to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels as they look to curb the amount of green house gasses they release into the atmosphere. These green house gasses are what scientists blame for global warming and the recent increase in extreme weather events. Producing electricity is one of the largest producers of these gasses but utilizing renewable sources can greatly decrease the amount of green house gasses produced. Common forms of renewable energies are wind and solar and both of these green energies have reached a state of maturation where they are economically viable to implement into full scale electrical grids.

Wave energy is a less developed renewable energy and it has not yet reached the level of maturation where it can readily be implemented into the electric grid. Marine energy sources are a promising new source of energy as the majority of Americas population lives along the coast and the energy in water is more energy dense that of solar and wind powers. However, in order to implement full scale wave energy converters there needs to be additional development in wave forecasting, controls systems, power electronics, energy storage systems, grid integration, and the overall efficiency of the system.

In this study wave energy converters are modelled from the excitation force of the water interacting with the buoy to the grid current being injected into the onshore electrical grid. The power and the efficiency of the system is analyzed from wave to wire and a control system is implemented to increase the efficiency of the system in a multi-frequency irregular wave environment. Additionally, the positioning of wave energy converters is an array is studied to determine the optimal placement of each buoy in order to maximize the energy delivered to the onshore electrical grid.