Building a unique wave test facility
A new wave tank being built at the University is to aid marine energy developers.
The All-Waters Combined Current and Wave Test Facility, under construction at the University’s King’s Buildings campus, is expected to be completed in summer 2013.
Its circular 25-metre pool will be able to simulate combinations of waves of up to 28 metres high and currents up to twelve knots at up to one-tenth scale - conditions that are currently unavailable to device developers and engineers.
With a working area of 15-17 metres and a depth of two metres, the tank will be able to mimic the normal and extreme conditions of coastlines around Europe.
The facility will be managed by FloWave TT, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the University of Edinburgh.
The FloWave facility will enable simulation of various open water conditions quickly and at large scales. This could considerably reduce development times and costs and enable developers to bring their devices to market more quickly and with lower technical risk.
FloWave TT’s test tank will be available for academic and industry research and is also suited to testing of submersible devices, remotely operated vehicles, offshore wind installation and service vessels and other marine tools.
The facility will cost £9.5 million to build and is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the University of Edinburgh.
Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Stuart Brown will lead the FloWave team. Mr Brown brings to the role more than 20 years of entrepreneurial experience and renewables engineering expertise.
I am confident that this investment will provide a world-class facility that will bring benefit to UK science and help push forward renewable energy technologies.
The University has played a leading role in marine energy research for nearly 40 years.
In the early 1970s, Professor Stephen Salter and his Wave Power Group created the "Edinburgh's Duck" to generate electricity from the waves.
Subsequent research has focused on improved wave devices, high-efficiency hydraulic transmission and control, and a new generation of wave tanks.