Experimental tank testing is a key aspect of wave energy conversion research. The performance of designs can be assessed in an accessible and controlled environment and at a fraction of the cost of sea trials.
There are many different ways to conduct experiments and it is beyond the scope of this document to cover them all. Instead, the author would like to raise readers' awareness on several key aspects of wave tank testing for wave energy conversion. These have been divided into three categories:
- Model making: construction techniques, scaling considerations instrumentations.
- Measurements: wave measurement, measurement of model motions, data processing (mainly focussed on Fourier analysis).
- Wave generation: deterministic and non-deterministic methods, wave tank calibration and phase locking.
This document is based on tank testing practices that have been developed over the years at the University of Edinburgh. As such it is focused on the use of equipment that has been developed by the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Designs Ltd.