A study was performed to optimize the geometry of a point absorber style wave energy converter (WEC). An axisymmetric single-body device, moving in heave only, was considered. Design geometries, generated using a parametric definition, were optimized using genetic algorithms. Each geometry was analyzed using a boundary element model (BEM) tool to obtain corresponding frequency domain models. Based on these models, a pseudo-spectral method was applied to develop a control methodology for each geometry. The performance of each design was assessed using a Bretschneider sea state. The objective of optimization is to maximize harvested energy. In this preliminary investigation, a constraint is imposed on the the geometry to guarantee a linear dynamic model would be valid for all geometries generated by the optimization tool. Numerical results are presented for axisymmetric buoy shapes.

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