Offshore Wind Facilities

Lir NOTF – Deep Ocean Basin

The Lir DOB is 35m * 12m and is fitted with an adjustable floor which allows testing at water depths from 0 to 3 m. The basin has 16 hinged force feedback paddles capable of a peak wave generation condition of Hs = 0.6m, Tp = 2.7s and Hmax = 1.1m.

The DOB has been designed to:

  • test operational conditions up to TRL4 for wave and offshore wind devices at a scale of c.1:16
  • test survival conditions at a scale of c. 1:36

The DOB is fitted with a towing carriage that can operate at speeds up to 0.7m/s, a data acquisition system, sensors, 3D motion camera system and a PIV system for flow visualisation.

Services offered by the infrastructure includes:

  • Component testing
  • Hydrodynamic Performance
  • Power take-off performance
  • Site specific wave generation
  • Data acquisition & analysis

More information available here:

Lir – Ocean Emulator

The Lir OOE is 25m * 18 m and nominally 1m in depth. A central trench, equipped with a moveable floor, allows for testing at water depths between 1 and 2.5m.

A curved wall of wave generation paddles allows for omnidirectional wave generation which peaks at Hs = 0.16m, Tp = 1.4s and Hmax = 0.32m. The OOE was constructed following the identification, during MARINET1, of the need for more advanced testing infrastructure at early stage Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs).

The OOE has been designed to:

  • Test operational conditions up to TRL4 for wave and offshore wind devices at a scale of c.1:50
  • Test survival conditions at a scale of c. 1:100

The basin is fitted with a data acquisition system, sensors, 3D motion camera system and a PIV system for flow visualisation.

Services offered by the infrastructure includes:

  • Component testing
  • Hydrodynamic Performance
  • Power take-off performance
  • Site specific wave generation
  • Data acquisition & analysis

More information available here:

Ifremer – Basin of Brest

More information available here

University of Strathclyde – Kelvin Hydrodynamics Lab

The Kelvin Hydrodynamics Lab tank provides excellent conditions for measuring the performance of surface ships and a wide variety of floating and underwater structures.

Ship models used are up to 4m in length. High quality, single frequency waves and random sea states may be generated with wave heights over 0.5m.

The motions of floating vessels and structures are measured using a state-of-the-art, real-time, non-contact infrared camera system.

Resistance dynamometers for different vessel types and model sizes are available as well as a six degree-of-freedom dynamometer for force measurement. Up to 25 wave probes may be used to determine water surface elevation in the tank. A 3-axis fluid velocity measurement system and a PIV system are also available. Pressure distributions on model surfaces can be measured. Above-water and underwater video systems are available.

More information available here:

Aalborg University – Wave & Current Basin

The wave basin is 14.6 m x 19.3 m x 1.5 m with an active test area of 13 x 10 m. A deep water pit with size 6.5 m x 2.0 m with up to 6 m extra depth is available. The basin holds up to approximately 400 m3 water (400.000 liters) and accommodates testing on deep and shallow water.

The basin is equipped with long-stroke segmented piston wavemaker for accurate short-crested (3-dimensional) random wave generation with active absorption and pumps for currents. The wavemakers are powered by electric motors which allows for less acoustic noise, no oil pollution in the basin and more accurate waves.

The equipment

Wave and current generation system for basin

  • 13 x 1.5 m (width and height)
  • 30 individually controlled wave paddles (snake type configuration) powered by electric motors
  • Accurate generation of 3D waves due to narrow vertically hinged paddles (0.43 m segment width)
  • Maximum wave height up to 45 cm (at 3 s period).
  • Typical maximum significant wave height in the range of 0.25-0.30 m
  • Built with stainless steel and fibreglass for minimum maintenance
  • Pumps with a total maximum flow of 3500 m3/h for generation of strong current in the basin (up to 0.15 m/s at 0.5 m water depth). Structures can be tested in combined waves and current (following or opposing).
  • Passive wave absorber elements

Other equipment

  • More than 40 resistance type wave gauges including electronics
  • Large selection of pressure transducers and load cells
  • Various equipment for measurement of flow velocities (lasers, ADV, etc.)
  • Laser profiler for automatic profiling of scour holes and surfaces of rubble mound structures
  • OptiTrack Flex 13 object tracking system
  • Step gauge for run-up measurement
  • Large selection of breakwater armour units

More information available here:

ORE Catapult – Blade Test

We perform independent structural testing of turbine blades – static and fatigue – in accordance with IEC and ISO standards, enabling blade manufacturers to achieve industry certification.

We opened our 50m facility in 2005. Tests are delivered to customer requirements and can include:

  • Determination of natural blade frequencies
  • Modal analysis
  • Post fatigue
  • Collapse assessments

More information available here:

ECN – Hydrodynamic and Ocean Engineering Tank

This basin allows the physical modelling, at model scale, of offshore floating systems, navigating or anchored, in deep seas (ships, MRE systems, oil&gas).

The wave tank has a large surface area (50 by 30m) and a constant depth of 5m. A segmented flap-type wave maker, cumulating 48 independently- controlled flaps, is present on one of its 30m-long sides. It allows generating basic unidirectional monochromatic sea states up to complex multidirectional sea states encountered in deep water seas. On its opposite side, a quadratic profile stainless steel dissipative beach helps energy dissipation through wave breaking processes.

The wave maker’s power allows generating regular waves with crest-to-through wave height of up to 1m, as well as irregular multidirectional sea states with significant wave height up to 0.65m. Very large amplitude waves, of wave height up to about 2m, can also be generated using space and/or time focusing techniques.

By its size and it wave generation capabilities, it is actually the largest wave tank in France.

More information available here:

ECN – SEMREV (sea test site)

The French research sea test site (SEM-REV) is part of the experimental facilities of Ecole Centrale Nantes to develop marine based energy generation products. The 1km2 site is located 10 nautical miles West-South-West of Le Croisic’s cape on France’s western Atlantic coastline with water depths ranging from 32-36m.

The area has a restricted access for navigation and has all permitting to install Ocean Energy devices to be tested. Offshore wind energy and wave energy converters can be tested, as well as all sub-components and installation and maintenance operations. The site is connected to the grid and has the possibility to connect three devices.

More information available here:

CNR-INSEAN_Ciculating Water Channel

CNR-INSEAN – Circulating Water Channel

The circulating water channel by CNR-INSEAN is among the largest EU infrastructures of this type routinely used for testing ORE devices for research and commercial projects. The test section is 3.6 m wide, 2.25 m deep 12 m long. This allows testing large models and model arrays with 2-3 devices in proximity.

Water flow speed is up to 5.3 m/s. The test section can be depressurized down to 3 KPa for model tests in cavitation similitude with respect to full scale.

The facility provides flexibility of operation settings for marine current devices up to TRL 5:

  • Water flume: test section roof open to simulate free-surface flows at ambient pressure
  • Water tunnel: test section closed and filled to maximise volume at ambient pressure
  • Cavitation channel: test section closed to simulate depressurised free-surface flows

A fake bottom is available to reduce depth and simulate different immersion of bottom fixed devices tested with foundations. Flow turbulence is 3-4%. Higher turbulence intensity or velocity profiles can be modelled by using suitable devices placed at test section inlet.

The facility is equipped with a full range of measuring systems (dynamometers, torque meters, wave gauges, etc.), Laser-Doppler velocimetry equipment (LDV, PIV, Stereo-PIV), high-speed cameras, hydroacoustics sensoring. Acquisition systems can be interfaced with models and equipment by TNA Users.

The facility is designed and equipped for hydrodynamics studies on marine structures and vehicles. For ORE systems, standard services include:

  • Characterization of system performance
  • Cavitation and ventilation tests
  • Device/device hydrodynamic interactions in clusters and arrays
  • Analysis of system reliability and survivability in extreme conditions
  • Analysis of solutions for device mooring or foundations.
  • Analysis of device environmental impact

More information available at:


CNR-INSEAN – Water Towing Tank

The towing tanks by CNR-INSEAN form a world-class site for research and industry projects on marine transport, structures and ORE systems, and are classified as Large Oceanographic Infrastructures by the Italian National Research Council. The facility has two infrastructures:

  • Wave towing tank (220 m long, 9.0 m wide, 3.5 m deep) equipped with regular/irregular wave-maker, towing carriage (max. speed 10 m/s) and movable platform
  • Calm water towing tank (470 x 13.5 x 6.5 m) with a towing carriage with max. speed 15 m/s

A movable wind-generation rig is available in both tanks. The infrastructure is relevant for testing wave, tidal, offshore wind devices with TRL up to 5. Large-scale models can be tested under combinations of waves, winds and current (by towing) to reproduce relevant operating conditions in a highly controlled and repeatable environment.

Advanced measuring systems are available to fully characterize operating conditions and device performance, including Laser-Doppler velocimetry equipment (LDV, PIV, Stereo-PIV), high-speed cameras, hydroacoustics sensoring. Acquisition systems can be interfaced with models and equipment provided by TNA Users.

Both wave and calm water tanks provide unique conditions for testing complex systems (i.e., hybrid wave/wind concepts), exceptionally large models and model arrays. Tidal turbine model with diameter of 1.5 m was hosted in FP7 MaRINET.

The facility is designed and equipped for hydrodynamics studies on marine structures and vehicles. In case of ORE systems, standard services include:

  • system performance, interaction with PTOs
  • reliability and survivability under combined effect of waves, winds, currents
  • simulation of mooring systems for floating devices
  • Analysis of device environmental impact
  • simulation of deployment, maintenance operations, including device interactions with floating platforms or with supply vessels

More information available here:

University of Edinburgh – FloWave Ocean Basin

The FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility is a 25m diameter, 2m deep circular combined wave-current basin. The tank is equipped with 168 active-absorbing wavemakers and 28 flow drive units which provide 360-degree independent directional control of the wave and current systems.

The unique configuration of the tank allows for the recreation of highly complex directional sea-states and combined wave-current conditions at scales of approximately 1:20-1:30. FloWave’s staff are highly experienced in the testing of offshore renewable energy technologies and will provide engineering support to clients before, during and after their test programme.

The facility is equipped with a video motion capture system (above and below water), voltage/current data-acquisition, and a selection of instrumentation (including submersible loadcells). The on-site workshop may also be made available for model repair and modification.

More information available here:

Marin concept basin

Marin – Concept Basin

The MARIN Concept Basin has a length of 220 m, a width of 4 m and a depth of 3.6 m. The basin is filled with fresh water. The basin is mainly designed to perform calm water and seakeeping model tests of ships and structures in the concept phase. Furthermore, the basin can be used for research purposes.


The basin has a stiff overhead carriage which runs over the full length of the basin. The maximum speed is 10 m/s.The carriage can be fitted with a large stroke vertical (VIV) oscillator to test vortex induced vibrations on pipes, risers and other slender constructions. Maximum Reynolds number up to 5E5.

Waves and wind

A wave generator is fitted at the end of the basin. The wave generator consists of 8 hinged flaps. Each flap (with a width of 50 cm) has its own driving motor, which is controlled separately. The capacity of the wave generator is up to a significant wave height of 0.55 m at a peak period of 2.3 seconds. Regular wave capacity is 1.1 m at a peak period of 2.3 seconds. Opposite the wave generator, a passive sinkable wave absorber is installed. The wave generator is equipped with compensation of wave reflections form (ARC) the model and the wave absorbing beach. Wave generation is based on higher order wave synthesis techniques.

Wind can be simulated by an adjustable platform spanning the full width of the basin fitted with electrical fans.

More information available here:

CRIACIV – Wind Tunnel

More information available here:

University of Plymouth – COaST Ocean Basin

The acronym COAST highlights the laboratory’s multipurpose foci on Coastal, Ocean and Sediment Transport representing a major enhancement in UK capability.

Its construction and equipping was part-funded by ERDF funding through the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA), Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in partnership with the University of Plymouth.

COAST provides a unique capability for research and testing of wave and tidal Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) devices, either alone or in an array, offshore engineering, coastal engineering and environmental impact modelling.  Expertise and support derives both from specialist staff appointed to support the facility as well as from academic and technical staff associated with the COAST Engineering Research Group and other recognised research centres within the School of Engineering.

The facilities are nationally and internationally leading in their capability of providing a complete package of model testing and data analysis under combined wave, current and wind loading.  The COAST laboratory in unique in the UK and comprises various deep and shallow water experimental facilities including an Ocean Basin, 35 m long x 15.5 m wide x 3 m deep which is operable at different depths of water via a moving floor.  The Ocean Basin incorporates 24 flap wave-makers with the additional capability of a recirculating current both in-line with, and transverse to the waves.

More information available here:

University of Surrey – EnFlo Wind Tunnel



BGO FIRST is a large and deep basin (40mx16mx4.8m) with wave, current and wind generation capabilities and specific features such as its movable and inclinable floor (which allows the performance of tests in any water depth, from 0 to 4.8m), its pit of a 10m total depth, its large amplitude forced motions platform, its dynamic winch as an alternative to wind generation, its PTOs, its DP pods, its in-house workshop and instrumentation, its experienced personnel… The combination of these capabilities makes the BGO FIRST be on the most equipped sea keeping tank in Europe.

It has been operated since 1998 by OCEANIDE who has now more than 230 tests campaign references in this facility, mainly for the energy industry. More information can be found on OCEANIDE web site:

More information available here:


DMEC – Den Oever

The Dutch Marine Energy Centre provides excellent opportunities for tidal energy converter testing at intermediate scale. The onshore facility Den Oever is located in two ducts of the Afsluitdijk, in an existing sluice that discharges water from the IJsselmeer to the Wadden Sea. The main function of the sluices always remains dominant; test equipment must be placed in such a way that it can be easily removed or lifted.  Basic infrastructure is available, including E&I grid, ADCP, and reaction construction (foundation). The site is typically used for 1:1 scaled river turbine applications, and for 1:4 scaled tidal stream solutions



DMEC – Marsdiep

The Dutch Marine Energy Centre provides excellent opportunities for tidal energy converter testing at intermediate scale. The location at Marsdiep is sheltered and well-accessible via the NIOZ harbour, and the water column has a depth of over 20 metres. The Marsdiep location can be equiped with a floating platform. DMEC has the permit to use a near shore location for testing tidal turbines. The location is used by a consortium which developed the floating BlueTEC platform. Under conditions to be set, the platform can be made available for testing. But at the Marsdiep Berth other platforms can be tested as well. Anchor points, umbilical, grid connection can be made available if needed.

PLOCAN Marine Test Site

The PLOCAN Marine Test Site is located on the East coast of Gran Canaria Island (Spain, The Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean, south-west of Spain and Northwest of Africa. The marine test site includes an area of about 23 km2 with a wide range of water depth from shoreline to 600 m. This Marine Test Site is available to projects focused on testing and demonstrating of all kinds of marine devices but mainly marine renewable energy converters. The final testing decision would be conditioned to the appropriateness, opportunity and availability of the facilities.

The electrical and communication infrastructure (REDSUB) is composed of two medium voltage cables (13.2kV) with a capacity of 5MW, each one, within the range of ±1% of 50Hz. The infrastructure will be mostly underwater, comprising hybrid cabling, with copper cables for the transmission of electrical power and fibre optics for data transmission, including a short terrestrial section to connect to the electrical substation on land. The onshore infrastructure will go from the manhole up to the electrical substation (66kV), where the electricity is raised up for its deliver to the national transmission grid. The onshore infrastructure will be composed by an underground medium voltage cable with a capacity of 15MW, by a power transformer station (13.2kV to 66kV) and all electrical protections required. This part will only be available after the Summer of 2017.

More information available here:


University of Edinburgh –  Curved Tank

More information available here:

SSPA – Maritime Hydrodynamics Laboratory

SSPA offers both several facilities for hydrodynamic testing and extensive experience in hydrodynamic design. SSPA can as such be of assistance for initial testing and evaluation or in the design optimization process for a device which are farther in the development process.

SSPA’s research and consultancy mainly revolves around  testing and design of structures and vessels in the marine environment, and the techniques used are much the same as is needed for Marine Energy Conversion. Therefore SSPA have worked for several years in research projects and as a consultant for various Marine Energy Conversion projects.

In MaRINET2 the following facilities can be utilized:

  • Towing tank
  • Maritime Dynamics Laboratory
  • Cavitation tank

More information available here:


Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) is an infrastructure for testing marine energy converters, located just off the coast of Armintza, northern Spain. With a grid connection capacity of 20 MW, purpose built substation and offices, the platform offers technology developers the opportunity to demonstrate their latest devices in test-friendly wave conditions. Along with a sister installation at Mutriku (Mutriku Wave Power Plant) BiMEP is able to provide a wide range of services in real sea conditions.

In addition, a consortium made up of BiMEP and IH Cantabria has been tasked with developing a scientific and technological project called TRL+. The purpose of TRL+ is to offer innovative tailored solutions for the development of marine technologies from concept through to field testing.

More information available here:

SmartBay – MARETS

SmartBay is Ireland’s national marine test and demonstration facility for the development of innovative products and services for the global maritime sector.  This includes the trial and validation of novel marine sensors, prototype equipment and the collection and dissemination of marine data to national and international users of the facility.

SmartBay supports the testing and validation of novel sensors and equipment for its users. Facilities include surface platforms and a sub-sea cabled observatory demonstrating and validating of new technologies and solutions. Users can access the SmartBay information and communication technology environment to validate innovative solutions for marine and related sectors.

A specialist team of marine operations and instrumentation technicians provides a range of supports to all users of the facility. This enables users of the facility to focus on data analysis, device validation and product development. Each project is guided from initial concept through to deployment and proof of concept validation.

The sub-sea cabled observatory at SmartBay includes:

  • Fibre optic data and 400v power cable
  • High speed communications via 4 pairs of optical fibres and which will host a variety of sensors and equipment and which can be tested and demonstrated in near real-time
  • 10 expansion ports which will be dedicated to the test and demonstration of new and novel equipment

SmartBay infrastructure includes:

  • Mobilis DB8000 buoys
  • Sensor hardware
  • Communication systems
  • Data acquisition systems
  • Bespoke web portal
  • Access to a range of vessels (Including Dive Support, Tugs and Multi-Purpose Research Vessels)

DTU – WindScanner

The European WindScanner Facility is a coordinated and joint European development and dissemination programme for full scale atmospheric boundary-layer experimental research in wind and turbulence fields for wind energy.  The WindScanner infrastructure builds upon recent advances in remote sensing-based technology based on ground-based scanning wind lidars, able to measure and quantify the atmospheric wind fields and turbulence aloft. As well as being deployed onshore, the infrastructure can be operated offshore from stable and floating platforms or by doing measurement of near-coastal wind farms.

The first Danish WindScanner node was established at DTU Wind Energy in Denmark in 2011. Today the Danish WindScanner node is operational and engages in advanced 3D wind field scanning measurements on and offshore offering access services in connection with present and also the next generation of large wind turbines and wind farms.  The mobile WindScanner research facility offer MARINET-II users access to remote sensing based 3D scanning of wind and turbulence fields of inflow and wakes in the marine atmospheric boundary layer from long-range synchronized WindScanners and SpinnerLidars installed on turbines and offshore platforms.


Further information available here