The Fast Flow Facility

The Fast Flow Facility
HR Wallingford Ltd
David Todd

Howbery Park
OX10 8BA
United Kingdom

Opened in October 2014, the Fast Flow Facility is one of the world's largest marine test facilities. This unique, dual channel, race track shaped flume delivers a world-leading capability in wave-current-sediment modelling.

Description of facility:

See also:

Technical Data

Length: 70 m (main channel), 50 m (secondary channel)
Width: 4 m (main channel), 2.6 m (secondary channel)
Depth of flume: 2.5 m
Depth of deeper sections: 3.5 m
Water depth: 0.8 ? 2 m
Fully customisable bathymetry
Maximum height (irregular): 0.5 m
Width: 4 m (main channel), 2.6 m (secondary channel)
Wave period: 0.5 ? 5.0 s
Second order corrections
Active absorption system
Wave damping structures
Forward and reverse direction
Speeds of over 2 m/s
Fully recirculating capability
1 m deep (16m3) test pit for sediment studies

The Fast Flow Facility allows investigation into the complex way waves, currents and sediments interact at a larger scale and in more detail than has previously been possible, helping optimise designs more effectively and minimise the water based risks inherently involved in projects.

We can study sediment transport, scour and morphology for a wide range of subsea, coastal, estuarine and fluvial engineering projects, as well as the combined impact of waves and currents on structures in a fast flow environment.

The 75 m long, 8 m wide Fast Flow Facility holds a million litres of water, can generate waves up to 1 m high and flows of over 2 m/s. The size of the facility allows us to model complex structures and arrays without compromising on scale. The main working channel has a 60 m long test section, giving the space to look at array effects, long wakes behind structures and the relative placement of structures and devices.

In the marine renewable energy sector, developments in exposed marine environments are high risk: fast currents, deep water and energetic waves present significant technical challenges. The ability to model large structures and arrays, without compromising on scale, means that we can help our clients plan, install and maintain their assets in the most efficient way possible.

Instrumentation within the facility includes Nortek Vectrino II profiling ADV?s, a Nortek HR Aquadopp, pressure transducers and an underwater laser scanner capable of measuring and monitoring the flume bathymetry with millimeter accuracy.

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