Conceived for cutting edge academic research into wave and tidal current interactions, the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility is also an amazing tool for commercial developers to ensure their technologies and projects perform ‘right first time’ and are de-risked as much as practical before cutting steel or going offshore.
For new device developers FloWave represents a great asset for de-risking and refining performance of new designs at model scale before cutting steel on a first prototype. For more established device developers – meaning those with prototypes already in the water on test at EMEC and elsewhere – FloWave is an opportunity to run model-scale tests on revised designs that incorporate the ‘lessons-learned’ from actually having a device in the water.
Finally, for demonstrator project and commercial array developers FloWave presents a world-unique opportunity to validate CFD layout, micro-siting and energy yield predictions with physical modelling – before investing tens of millions in the project itself.
The capital outlay of the FloWave building and wave and current generations equipment has been grant-funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and loan-funded by the University of Edinburgh.
Additional straight and participatory grant funding to extend the capability and reach of the FloWave facility into other offshore marine energy sectors – specifically fixed and floating offshore wind and the marine operations that support all offshore renewables – has been provided by Scottish Enterprise.
The facility will work closely with the Institute for Energy Systems, one of five multi-disciplinary research institutes within the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering, with the goal of increasing the Institute’s internationally recognised expertise in marine energy device testing, evaluation and array deployment.
FloWave is a 100 per cent owned subsidiary company of the University of Edinburgh, and is located in a dedicated building on the western edge of the University’s King’s Buildings campus in Edinburgh.