Illustration/University of Edinburgh's FloWave test tank (Courtesy of the University of Edinburgh)

FloWave marks its 10th anniversary 

FloWave, the world’s first circular combined wave and current simulation tank, celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Illustration/University of Edinburgh's FloWave test tank (Courtesy of the University of Edinburgh)

In the past decade, the team at FloWave investigated more than 50 renewable technologies, collaborating with researchers, designers, and engineers from 21 countries at the University of Edinburgh’s facility. 

Their tests have enabled companies like Orbital Marine Power, Mocean Energy, and EnerOcean to deploy their tidal, wave, and floating wind devices.

Related Article

The £12 million (approximately $15,2 million) facility, funded by EPSRC, is utilized for testing scaled-down prototypes of emerging commercial technologies and for academic research related to ocean activities. 

“I’m delighted to see FloWave reach its first decade of operation. Its success over the last 10 years is a reflection of the sheer imagination and vision of my colleagues. Their idea of bringing the ocean onshore has enabled the School and University to truly cement its reputation in offshore renewable energy; and it plays a central role in this rapidly developing industry,” said Head of the School of Engineering, Professor Gareth Harrison

FloWave said that by replicating sea conditions and conducting tests, new technologies can be expedited in their development process with confidence that they function in conditions resembling real ocean environments. This support aligns with the ongoing period of swift growth in renewable energy.

FloWave was created to meet the need for testing facilities for wave and tidal energy devices, enhancing the School’s curved wave tank. Designed by Professors Ian Bryden, David Ingram, and Robin Wallace in collaboration with architects Bennetts Associates and equipment suppliers Edinburgh Designs, the facility was constructed over three years.

“Reaching the milestone of 10 years of operations for the offshore renewable energy sector is a proud achievement for us all and is a testament to the efforts and skills of the FloWave team past and present. The facility is a fantastic machine, but ultimately it serves as a place for people to apply and develop knowledge and it would be nothing without the never-ending drive for innovation from those who designed it, operate it, and use it,” said Principal Experimental Officer Thomas Davey

“We look forward to another decade of applying FloWave to the latest in offshore research and development activities, bringing together the best of academia and industry.” 

In terms of recent news coming from FloWave, Wave Energy Scotland (WES) started a series of tank tests of floating wind and wave energy structures at the University of Edinburgh’s facility in September 2023 to explore the potential benefits the synergy between the two technologies could bring.

Related Article