The Archimedes Wave Swing (AWS) is a system that converts ocean wave energy into electrical energy. A pilot plant of this system has been built. This paper describes the design of the permanent-magnet (PM) linear synchronous generator applied in the AWS. Based on a magnetic circuit model, it is concluded that saturation does not play an important role. The correlation between measured and calculated generator parameters and no-load voltage is reasonable, which indicates that the generator is adequate. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.