Large scale facility being revamped

Extension of the Large Wave Flume: Worlds biggest wave maker installed

marTech-Team explains Construction progress / Opening planed for 2023

The extensive construction works at the Large Wave Flume (GWK) of the Coastal Research Center (FZK) are in full swing. The Coastal Research Center ist a joint institute operated by the Leibniz University Hannover and the Technische Universität Braunschweig. During a visit at the construction site in Hannover-Marienwerder the recently installed wave maker was unvealed to the public. „This is the worlds larges wave maker ever built. It opens up unprecedented research options", explains Prof. Dr.-Ing. Torsten Schlurmann from the Ludwig-Franzius-Institut für Wasserbau, Ästuar- und Küsteningenieurwesen of the Leibniz University Hannover (LUH). Scientists and representatives of the building department, technical planing and construction companies answered questions regarding the specifically developed machine and gave insights into the background of the planing processes and the motives.

 „The new GWK+ will be operated for the first time within select pilot projects throughout the first half year in 2023 tackling the future of energy supply.", announced Prof. Dr.-Ing. Nils Goseberg from the Leichtweiß-Institut für Wasserbau of the TU Braunschweig an. Prof. Goseberg and Prof. Schlurmann form part of the directorate of the Coastal Research Center (FZK) from the LUH and the TU Braunschweig, under whos aegis the GWK is operated.

The 300 m long GWK in Hannover-Marienwerder was originally built back in 1983. Numerous groundbreaking research projects regarding the interaction of waves and various hydraulic structures were successfully conducted since then. However, so far the facility was restricted to solely generate waves on large scales. Given the goal of extending the offshore energy marked (Offshore-Windenergie, Tide-/Wave energy etc.), questions pointing at the installation and standard operation proceedures during designed life spans of such infrastructure gain more attention and are of high interest to public stakeholders.

In 2017 the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz (BMWK, vormals BMWi) approved the research project marTech (maritime Technologien), in order to install a ressourceful current generation facility as well as a deep pit for testing offshore foundation structures with over 35 Million Euro.

The extension of the GWK creates a globally unique test facility in Hannover. The revamped large wave flume will allow future researchers to inestigate processes and loads under currents and simulatenous waves on realistic and large scales. Larger and steeper waves as forecast by climate change research, will also be reproducable due to the new wave maker. With the addition of the circulating current generation infrastructure, for the first time ever tidal currents and dynamics will be within reach of large scale research experiments. The newly added deep test pit will additionally allow for soil-structure-wave interactions to be studied in much greater detail and with more scientific rigour than ever before to pave the way for  future structure layouts.