A risk-based approach to layout implementation of WEC array by addressing accidental constraints

Ray John McCarthy, Ehsan Arzaghi, Mohammad Mahdi Abaei, Rouzbeh Abbassi, Vikram Garaniya, Irene Penesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Wave energy converters (WEC) are reaching a pinnacle in their prototype phase. World leaders in the energy sector are looking for renewable energy sources to replace the expiry of fossil-fuel energy capacity. For WECs to become a viable solution to the fossil-fuel challenges, there is a need to have a deeper understanding of the associated costs and the operational impacts of this technology. This study investigates the relationship between these two characteristics and finds an improved implementation strategy by developing a dynamic risk-based methodology. The methodology developed from this study will aid WEC technology to move towards a commercialised state by implementing an array or farm of WEC devices. Bayesian network (BN) is adopted to analyse the probability of a collision accident within the farm as well as the likelihood of meeting the desired level of power production. The BN is later extended to an influence diagram (ID) for selecting the optimum configuration of the WEC farm. The ID assists in decision-making based on the investigated probabilities, required capital investment, and economic impact of the accident scenario. To demonstrate the application of the developed method, a case
study is adopted including three decision alternatives, each representing a farm with different layouts of point absorber WECs. The performance of the facility is assessed under real-life offshore environmental conditions. The developed methodology assists in finding the WEC layout which minimises the economic risk of an array implementation and also increases the reliability of these structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-84
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Ocean Engineering and Marine Energy
Issue number1
Early online date8 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Wave energy converter
  • Influence diagram
  • Bayesian network
  • Power production
  • Renewable energy


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