Test Infrastructure Ocean Energy

Physical Wave Flumes

At Ghent University, we have 2 physical wave flumes, in which experimental studies are performed. The primary objective of our small physical wave flume is to assist students when exploring wave dynamics, and to allow the researchers to get a better understanding of waves and wave/structure interaction using the wave flume. The flume dimensions are 15.0 x 0.35 x 0.60 m (L x W x H). Design water depth is 0.30 m. Maximum wave height inside the flume is about 0.20 m.

The objective of the large wave flume is to get a better understanding of waves and wave/structure interaction on a larger scale than it was possible up till now in the small wave flume of the department. The large flume is used for research purposes and project activities. The flume measures 30.0 m long, 1.0 m wide and 1.2 m high. The overall design water depth is 80 cm. The maximum wave height in the flume is about 0.35 m.

A coastal and ocean basin is now being installed at the GreenBridge science park of Ghent University in Ostend in the framework of the Gen4Wave initiative.

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Wave Emulator: a Dry Test rig for Wave Energy Power Take-Offs

An interactive controlled Wave Emulator provides torques and speeds towards a power take-off (PTO) under test. The Wave emulator is controlled by a hydrodynamic wave energy converter (WEC) model taking account for the PTO actions, thus providing a situation for the PTO receiving the same torques as if it was functioning in a WEC at sea. Sea state conditions can be changed for both irregular and regular waves.

The control is performed by a Rapid Control Prototyping card which enhances the setup’s versatility. Moreover, the scaling and control can be adapted to correspond to different WEC’s or other renewable energy converters, such as wind turbines.