Offshore Model Testing in the Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering Lab


W2 Wind-Wave basin

The basin is 30 meters long by 9 m wide (98 x 30 ft), and has a working depth of floor of 0 meters to 4.5 meters. The basin contains a 16-paddle wave generator, a beach, a moving wind wall, and an adjustable floor.

16 Paddle Wave Maker

Our 16-paddle wave maker can simulate regular waves and all standard spectra as well as custom random seas with directional waves and a range of frequencies. It can produce wave angles in excess of +/- 60 degrees relative to the basin center line. Waves can be maximum height of 0.6 m at T = 1.65 seconds, and 0.8 m at T = 2.3 seconds.

Wind Machine

Our 5 m x 3.5 m x 6 m wind machine can generate wind speeds up to 12 m/s with flow direction relative to waves up to 180 degrees.

Beach System

Our elliptical profile beach was designed and constructed in-house. It has aluminum ribs and a composite surface with a removable central structure to accommodate the towing system.

Instrumentation

The W2 data acquisition system is built on industry leading National Instruments hardware and can accommodate a large variety of instrumentation including force, acceleration, and velocity measurements. Non-contact motion tracking above and below the water is made possible by two linked Qualisys camera systems. Flexible synchronization and data I/O allows for integrating hardware- or software-in-the-loop control systems and supplemental data acquisition systems.

Towing System

The towing system is currently being developed and will be online by the end of 2018. The system will have a maximum speed of 1 meters/second (3.3 feet/second). Future expansions of the towing capability is planned and will bring maximum speed up to 5 m/s (16.4 ft/second).

Advanced model fabrication capabilities

Our Fortus 900mc 3d Production Systems is the most power fused deposition modeling device in the world. It has the capability of rapid modular 3D printing up to 0.6m x 0.6m x 0.9m (2 x 2 x 3 ft). Our capabilities also include a 3D CNC Water Jet with dimensions 2.0m x 4.0m x 0.1m (6.5 x 13 x 0.5 ft), as well as wood, foam, composites, and metal fabrication facilities.

The Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering Lab is a 1:50-scale offshore model testing facility equipped with a high-performance rotatable wind machine over a multidirectional wave basin. The lab accurately simulates towing tests, variable water depths, and scaled wind and wave conditions that represent some of the worst storms possible anywhere on Earth.

Featured Media

New York Times – “Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float.”

Bloomberg News:

U.S. Department of Energy Wave Energy Prize

Offshore Model Testing Team

$3.9 Million Naming Gift from the Alfond Foundation

“We are investing in people and infrastructure that will support ocean engineering, and advanced manufacturing education and research, and grow Maine jobs,” said Gregory Powell, chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation in November 2015. Learn more.Harold Alfond Foundation logo

Graduate Students