A3 - Resource and environmental characterisation in physical modelling facilities

A - Resource and Environment Characterisation

Status - published
Last updated on: 12/11/2019


Real ocean behaviour, such as the turbulence in combined waves and current, is poorly understood and difficult to simulate in the laboratory.


New physical modelling technologies can be developed to produce more representative ocean conditions in controlled setting.

Context And Need

Designing for offshore conditions requires detailed analysis of the impact of wind, waves, currents and turbulence on the loads and performance of ORE devices. Numerical modelling can inform certain design aspects, but this needs to be supported and validated by controlled and repeatable laboratory testing. This testing provides data that represents regular and extreme loading, device performance and survivability. Testing in wave basins and wind tunnels is particularly useful where complex or coupled effects are present, such as turbulence or wind and waves. However, this testing is always performed at reduced geometric scale and there can be challenges with reproducing and then characterising the field conditions in the laboratory facility. Refining laboratory facilities using new modelling technologies, allows more realistic simulation of offshore scenarios.


Laboratory facilities are increasing the realism of their simulations. New techniques allow complex aspects of the ocean environment to be modelled in the lab, such as combined wave ??? current characteristics, turbulence parameters, and combinations of wind, wave and current.

Impact Potential

Potential impact on both OPEX and CAPEX via improved reproduction of complex field conditions leading to improved fidelity and reduced uncertainty in performance and extreme loading. Specifically, demonstration in hostile and extreme conditions at significant laboratory scale is important to deliver confidence in design and investment decisions.

Research Status

On-going work at FloWave to characterise tank conditions and their representation of field conditions.


We would also like to invite UK researchers and industry stakeholders within ORE to submit links to research projects, both past and present, for inclusion within the landscape.

Therefore, if you have a UK-based research project within an area of ORE that you feel is relevant to a specific research theme or challenge within the Research Landscape, click HERE to submit your research project to the research landscape


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