Minister opens FloWave facility

The university’s marine energy testing facility, FloWave, has been given ministerial approval.

Amber Rudd, newly appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department of Energy and Climate Change, officially opened the facility, which she described as being at the cutting edge of academic and commercial research.

The FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility, located at the King’s Buildings science campus, is a 25-metre circular pool that can recreate waves and currents from coastlines around the UK, Europe and beyond.


Scale testing

Wave and tidal energy has an important part to play in our low carbon energy mix and the UK is already at the forefront of research and development in this innovative sector.

Amber RuddParliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Energy and Climate Change

FloWave is intended to develop and refine full-scale energy devices, such as wave and tidal energy converters and floating offshore wind platforms.

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 can help bring clean energy products to market more quickly and cost-effectively, at lower risk.

The £10.5 million FloWave facility, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the University and Scottish Enterprise can simulate scale equivalents of waves up to 28 metres high.

It can generate currents of up to 14 knots in the two-metre deep tank, using 2.4 million litres of water.

VIP event

Ms Rudd was accompanied during her visit by Professor Mary Bownes, Senior Vice-Principal of the University, Stuart Brown, Chief Executive Office of FloWave, and Alison Wall of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Other representatives from FloWave and the University, and invited industry guests, also attended the event.

The Minister unveiled a commemorative plaque before enjoying a demonstration of the testing tank’s capabilities.

It’s great to officially open and see first-hand FloWave’s new cutting-edge marine energy testing facility. Testing devices in realistic ocean conditions is essential for driving this industry forward.

Amber RuddParliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Energy and Climate Change

Afterwards, the Minister met invited guests including key researchers engaged in energy and environment-related studies, including from the ARCHER supercomputing facility, carbon capture and storage research, and the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.

We believe FloWave will help accelerate learning, improve performance and reduce costs for developers.

Stuart BrownChief Executive Officer, FloWave