The generation of 3D flows in a combined current and wave tank

Adam Robinson, David Ingram, Ian Bryden, Tom Bruce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


One means of producing a 3D current in a circular tank is by using groups of conditioned axial flow impellers arranged around the perimeter to collectively create a sea representative bulk flow in a laboratory setting. Unfortunately to achieve the required bulk flow neighbouring impellers have to operate at different speeds resulting in steps in the plan view velocity profile. Therefore the underlying situation that governs tank behaviour is that of two fluid streams at different speeds combining, leading to a turbulent mixing layer which then dissipates and develops. Here a simulation of this flow is created using a 2D Reynolds Averaged Navier–Stokes method and then validated with physical experiments. The implications for accuracy and computational costs of various turbulence models, boundary conditions setups, and geometry representations are assessed. These findings are then used to produce a simplified 2D numerical model of the plan view flows in a 3D test tank which is then employed to demonstrate how a satisfactory device test zone might be generated from groups of stepped inputs. This finding helps prove that a combined current and wave tank can be created using the described configuration with the model providing a useful means of testing control scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalOcean Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Wave
  • Current
  • Test
  • Tank
  • Simulation


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