Test tank makes waves in marine energy

A world-class testing facility for marine energy devices has been inaugurated at the University.

FloWave tank

Guests at the facility watched the circular pool, 25 metres across and two metres deep, demonstrate how it can recreate waves and currents from coastlines around the UK, Europe and beyond.

The FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility is managed by University subsidiary company FloWave TT Ltd.

It can simulate scale version equivalents of waves up to 28 metres high and currents of up to 14 knots, using 2.4 million litres of water.

Developing scale devices

We are delighted to mark the official launch of this pioneering facility, which will speed the development of devices to harness wave and current power, and further enhance the University’s position as a centre of excellence in marine energy research.

Professor Sir Timothy O'SheaUniversity Principal

Researchers and industrial partners can use the facility to develop and refine full-scale devices.

These could include wave and tidal energy converters, floating offshore wind platforms, and vessels to install and maintain offshore projects.

Testing devices at scale in a tank can enable research milestones to be achieved in days or weeks, compared with months or years in open water.

This accelerated development should help bring clean energy products to market more quickly and cost-effectively, at lower risk.

The £9.5 million FloWave facility was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the University.

EPSRC’s investment in the FloWave facility will help keep the UK at the forefront of marine energy technology research and development. Research here can accelerate the deployment of these technologies which, in turn, will help us meet our low-carbon targets create jobs and boost growth.

Professor Philip NelsonChief Executive, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Photography © Callum Bennetts/Maverick Photo Agency