Oceans are harsh environments and can impose significant loads on deployed structures. A Wave Energy Converter (WEC) should be designed to maximize the energy absorbed while ensuring the operating wave condition does not exceed the failure limits of the device itself. Therefore, the loads endured by the support structure are a design constraint for the system. Furthermore, the WEC should be adaptable to different sea states. This work uses a WEC-Sim model of a variable-geometry oscillating wave energy converter (VGOSWEC) mounted on a support structure simulated under different wave scenarios. A VGOSWEC resembles a paddle pitching about a fixed hinge perpendicular to the incoming wave fronts. The geometry of the VGOSWEC is varied by opening a series of controllable flaps on the pitching paddle when the structure experiences threshold loads. It is hypothesized that opening the flaps should result in load shedding at the base of the support structure by reducing the moments about the hinge axis. This work compares the hydrodynamic coefficients, natural periods, and response amplitude operators from completely closed to completely open configurations of the controllable flaps. This work shows that the completely open configuration can reduce the pitch and surge loads on the base of the support structure by as much as 80%. Increased loads at the structure's natural period can be mitigated by an axial power take-off damping acting as an additional design parameter to control the loads at the WEC's support structure.

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