HR Wallingford new sate-of-the-art maritime simulation and modeling facilities, the Fast Flow Facility and the UK Ship Simulation Centre, will be formally opened by Lord Michael Heseltine at Howbery Business Park in Wallingford, Oxfordshire on 30 October.
The new Fast Flow Facility is one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated marine test facilities, and it is the only facility of its type in the UK. It is a 75 m long, 4 m wide dual-channel flume that can hold up to a million liters of water, generate 1 m high waves and produce tidal currents of up to 5 m3/s. The unique Fast Flow Facility will be used to investigate the way of waves, tides and sediments interact with the built environment.
It will be used to optimize marine renewable energy projects and other offshore, coastal and river developments, as well as carry out cutting-edge research in to sediment transport and scour. There will be demonstration scale models in place, including an area showing how currents can scour away the sea bed at base of an offshore wind turbine, undermining the foundations. The models will be underwater but visible through a large viewing panes.
The UK Ship Simulation Centre contains four purpose-built real-time ship simulators, including two dedicated tug simulators. Each simulator is a functioning ship or tug’s bridge surrounded by a 360-degree simulated environment. The four simulators can be run separately or together to allow different vessels in the same simulated environment to interact. The simulators will be used in the design and evaluation of maritime development projects such as ports, harbors and marine terminals.
The new facilities are part of a £3 million investment by HR Wallingford to extend the state-of-the-art modeling and simulation facilities.