A simulator capable of recreating coastlines around the globe has been unveiled by Edinburgh Univerisity.
The circular pool, 25 metres across and two metres can recreate waves and currents from coastlines around the UK, Europe and beyond and will assist in research and development in the off-shore renewables industry.
The FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility, managed by University of Edinburgh subsidiary company FloWave TT Ltd, 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.
Researchers can use the facility to develop and refine full-scale devices such as 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 (EPSRC) and the University.
Professor Sir Timothy O’ Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, said: “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.”