The facility can produce waves exactly as they exist at sea; in multiple directions and at varying frequencies and amplitudes. Typical wave heights are 0.45m optimised at a rate of every 2 seconds, smaller waves are possible at more than 1 wave per second. Large wave heights go up to around 0.7m. The direction of all waves can be fully controlled and can come from multiple angles simultaneously. The tank can be programmed to simulate any sea-state required. This typically includes regular sea states and random sea-states however custom sea-states are also possible, including those that would not be possible in the real world, with standing, concentric or spike waves.
As with the real ocean, the tank can also have currents that can flow in any direction needed. These currents can be up to 1.6 meters per second in velocity and act across the large central area of the tank known as the testing area. Combining these currents with the waves stated before takes the simulation to the next level of realism. This is part of what makes FloWave unique, having a circular tank with custom waves and currents grants the user full control to create any environment they need for testing.
The testing capabilities of the tank are supported by a cutting-edge data sensing network and an exceptional on-site workshop for model design and manufacture. The tank is kitted out with optical motion capture cameras, highly precise wave and current sensors, as well as tension and compression load cells, accelerometers and gyrometers. Clients can fine tune their models to find optimal settings across different operating conditions, as well as test survivability of their models in extreme seas, helping to de-risk future full scale tests out at sea. Test programmes can vary, from testing power output of devices, to loads on mooring lines, or simulating marine operations. The facility’s workshop is optimised for effective solutions towards the model making and modification of client’s prototypes. Featuring an advanced 3D printing system, computer-controlled milling and turning, a crane and forklift, and a variety of power tools.