When making machines meant to operate in the ocean, manufacturers often test them in a controlled environment. This makes complete sense; no one wants to see their hard work get swept out to sea and fail miserably. But what if you don’t have an ocean handy? What if you live in an arid land with dreams of producing great technology for an ocean thousands of miles away?
The FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility gives us insight into precisely what kinds of waves can be manufactured themselves. In this video, an ocean is being modeled with a 634,000-gallon pool of water. The dynamics of the water are simulated with movable floors in the pool as well as wave generators. These are usually big metallic plates that move back and forth and in consequence, generate waves in the pool.
Concepts in fluid dynamics are often the most crucial to get right. Everything from innovative buoys to pontoon boats to basic propeller systems has to accommodate for things like flow rate and expected density. The closer researchers and research facilities can get to real-life scenarios, the easier the R&D team’s job becomes at fixing problems before debuting a gadget in the ocean.