Unique EPSRC-funded test facility will help technology go with the flow

Supplementary content information

Illustration showing the exterior of the FloWave facility building

Developers of marine energy devices will soon be able to benefit from a wave and current test facility being built in Scotland.

The facility's 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 All-Waters Combined Current and Wave Test Facility will be managed by FloWave TT, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the University of Edinburgh. The test tank is being built at the University's King's Buildings campus.

Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Stuart Brown will lead the FloWave team. Mr Brown brings to the role more than twenty years of entrepreneurial experience and renewables engineering expertise.

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, which will cost £9.5 million to build and is funded by the EPSRC and the University of Edinburgh, is scheduled to come on-stream in summer 2013.

Dave Delpy, EPSRC Chief Executive, said: I am confident that this EPSRC investment will provide a world-class facility that will bring benefit to UK science and help push forward renewable energy technologies.

FloWave TT will be exhibiting at the All-Energy 2012 Conference at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, on 23 and 24 May, where company representatives will be pleased to discuss the tank's capabilities, with the help of test engineers and a scale model.

Mr Brown said: 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.

Reference: PN 36-12