Getting Started

This section provides instructions on how to download and install WEC-Sim.

MATLAB Requirements

WEC-Sim is developed in MATLAB/Simulink, and requires the following toolboxes:

Required Toolbox

Oldest Compatible Version


Version 9.9 (R2020b)


Version 10.2 (R2020b)


Version 5.0 (R2020b)

Simscape Multibody

Version 7.2 (R2020b)

WEC-Sim’s Simulink Library is saved in MATLAB R2020b, and WEC-Sim tests are run on MATLAB R2020b and newer. Any version of MATLAB newer than R2020b should be compatible with WEC-Sim. The stability of each MATLAB release is available via WEC-Sim’s GitHub Actions. Certain advanced features rely on external functions (such as MoorDyn), and additional MATLAB Toolboxes (such as Parallel Computing Toolbox (PCT)).

Verify that the MATLAB required toolboxes are installed by typing ver in the MATLAB Command Window:

>> ver
MATLAB Version: (R2020b)
MATLAB                                                Version 9.9         (R2020b)
Simulink                                              Version 10.2        (R2020b)
Simscape                                              Version 5.0         (R2020b)
Simscape Multibody                                    Version 7.2         (R2020b)

Download WEC-Sim

The WEC-Sim source code is hosted on WEC-Sim’s GitHub repository. WEC-Sim users should clone WEC-Sim’s Github repository. Cloning the repository allows users to easily pull the latest updates to the WEC-Sim source code. The WEC-Sim source code can be cloned by installing Git Large File Storage (git lfs) to access large files (e.g. *.h5 files), and cloning the WEC-Sim GitHub repository.

To install WEC-Sim using git:

>> git lfs install
>> git clone

The local copy of WEC-Sim can easily be updated to include updates from the master version of the WEC-Sim source code hosted on the GitHub by using the git pull command:

>> git pull origin master

For users who are new to git, it is recommended to go through examples on GitHub or other sources while getting started. If you have problems downloading or installing please see the Troubleshooting page.

For developers who wish to contribute to WEC-Sim, refer to the Developer Getting Started section.


Users may also download a static version of WEC-Sim from the latest tagged WEC-Sim Release. This is the easiest way to obtain the WEC-Sim code, however users must manually download new releases for updates.

Install WEC-Sim

Once you have downloaded the WEC-Sim source code, take the following steps to install WEC-Sim. The directory where the WEC-Sim source code is saved is referred to as $WECSIM (e.g. C:/User/Documents/GitHub/WEC-Sim).

Step 1. Add WEC-Sim to the MATLAB Path

To run WEC-Sim, the source directory must be on the MATLAB path. Users have two options to do this:

Option 1. Automatically add the WEC-Sim source on MATLAB startup.

Open $WECSIM/source/addWecSimSource.m and copy contents to a new file called startup.m. Set the WEC-Sim path to the local $WECSIM/source directory, e.g. wecSimSource = 'C:/User/Documents/GitHub/WEC-Sim/source. Save startup.m to the MATLAB Startup Folder. Restart MATLAB, and the $WECSIM/source directory will automatically be added to the MATLAB path.

% This script adds the WEC-Sim source to the MATLAB path. 

% Define WEC-Sim source and add to MATLAB path
wecSimSource = fullfile(pwd,'source');

clear wecSimSource

Option 2. Manually add and remove the WEC-Sim source from the MATLAB path.

This option requires users to run a script each time MATLAB is opened to add the WEC-Sim source directory to the path. Navigate to the $WECSIM directory and run addWecSimSource. The $WECSIM/source directory will then be added to the MATLAB path for this instance of MATLAB. To remove WEC-Sim from the path, run removeWecSimSource.

Step 2. Verify the Path

Verify the path was set up correctly by checking that the WEC-Sim source directory is listed in the MATLAB search path. The WEC-Sim source directory, $WECSIM/source, and its subfolders should be listed. To view the MATLAB path, type path in the MATLAB Command Window:

>> path



Step 4. Test the Installation

Both users and contributors can test the installation using the following steps. In the MATLAB Command Window type:

>> cd $WECSIM/examples/RM3
>> wecSim

This should run an example case using the Reference Model 3 (RM3) point absorber. A Mechanics Explorer window will open within the MATLAB window, and figures will be generated displaying simulation outputs. Both the RM3 and the OSWEC examples ($WECSIM/examples/OSWEC) come ready-to-run and can be used once WEC-Sim is installed.


If a git lfs error is produced, there was a problem with git-lfs installation. You may need to manually install Git Large File Storage , or run $WECSIM/examples/RM3/hydroData/bemio.m to generate the correct rm3.h5 file.