A university marine hydrokinetics (MHK) facility earned Best Innovation accolades at the 2014 Scottish Renewables Green Energy Awards held Nov. 27 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility, based on campus at the University of Edinburgh, opened in June. The hydroelectric research feature has as its centerpiece for tidal energy, a tank 25 meters in diameter by 5 meters in depth. The structure is the first of its kind capable of simulating scaled-equivalents of waves up to 28 meters high and water currents up to 14 knots.
FloWave TT Ltd., a 100%-owned university subsidiary, operates the US$16 million facility.
The capital outlay of the FloWave building and the equipment that generates waves and water currents was funded in part by a grant from the United Kingdom’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and loan-funded by the university. Additional straight and participatory grant funding to extend the capability and reach of the FloWave facility into additional offshore marine energy sectors – specifically fixed and floating offshore wind and the marine operations that support all offshore renewables – was provided by Scottish Enterprise, according to FloWave.
EPSRC is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences. According to the agency, annually it invests more than US$1.26 billion into a broad range of subjects from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering.