Our wave tank is a valuable teaching aid. This allows us to observe the behaviour of surface waves and how they can affect large-scale engineering projects.
The Engineering Department has had wave tank testing facilities since the 1970s. Waves are created by 7 force feedback paddles. The paddles are capable of creating Pierson Markowitz spectra appropriate for 1/50th to 1/100th scale testing. Sine wave frequencies between 0.5-1.5~Hz are possible with amplitudes up to 100mm. The tank is equipped with 16 wave gauges, plus a variety of other data acquisition software. The area has a wireless connection. While primarily used for internal research and a valuable teaching aid, our facilities are available for use by external companies.
Low Head Hydro Power
The Low Head Hydro Power facility at Lancaster has been used as a research tool to explore the means of converting energy from a low-head hydro source, using syphons to convert from water to air pressure. Compared with a conventional turbine solution, the civil engineering required is minimal, and the turbines used are relatively inexpensive. Furthermore, much of the plant can be located on dry land.
The Gilkes turbine tutor facility has been fully automated and can be used for initial testing of prototype turbine models. The testing procedure for both Francis and Pelton units automatically converts the acquired data into efficiency hill charts, which can be quickly used to evaluate and compare the performance of initial turbine prototypes.
Pump & Cavitation Lab
The Turbine Technologies Pump Lab offers a clear view pump housing and the fluid circuit for the testing of centrifugal impellers. Visual vaporisation bubbles help in the understanding and correlation of cavitation phenomena.
Inline Turbine Lab
A number of novel inline turbines have been developed using the Inline Turbine Lab facility, the idea being that a direct drive turbine can be placed into municipal water to replace a PRV in line with the existing mains pipework to capture energy loss. The advantage of this is it offers a more efficient exploitation of hydroelectric generation.