The University of Plymouth has secured more than £1 million to create a facility for testing new innovations in floating offshore wind technology.
This first-of-its-kind facility in the UK will enable physical modeling experiments with wind, wave and currents simultaneously.
Data generated in the experiments will enable researchers to improve their understanding of how future technology advances could be impacted by atmospheric conditions.
The UK Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Test facility will also support research in other sectors of ocean and coastal engineering disciplines, including oil & gas, tidal and solar energy, autonomous vessels, launch and recovery operations, and coastal defenses.
“Floating offshore wind is an exciting sector that is likely to grow significantly over the next few years. But before any device goes into the sea, physical modelling is critical, especially during the early stages of developing a new concept,” said Martyn Hann, Principal Investigator on the project.
“Testing model devices at scale in the controlled environment of a laboratory has many advantages and this investment gives us the capability to be at the forefront of such advances.”
Supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the project will upgrade the university’s COAST (Coastal, Ocean and Sediment Transport) laboratory.
The lab currently enables researchers to study how devices are impacted by waves and currents and, since opening in 2012, has been used to test a range of offshore renewable energy devices.
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