The research project marTech aims to address the development and experimental testing of renewable energy re-sources, which are crucially needed to meet the increased demands to design, install, operate and maintain offshore wind support structures and marine energy systems for the exploitation of wind waves and tidal currents. Under the overall framework of the 6th Energy Research Programme of the Federal Government for an environmentally-friendly, reliable and affordable energy supply, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) supports the research project marTech. In order to stipulate appropriate research activities, major technical enhancements are undertaken both to update and to expand the unique facility of the Large Wave Flume Hannover (GWK), Germany. The upgrade will encompass three major components: (1) First, the wave generator in the GWK is replaced to generate larger wave heights and periods to achieve stronger impacts on structures by means of >7.5 m stroke. (2) Second, the portfolio of future investigation in the GWK is broadened by complementing a (tidal) current generation system. (3) Third, combined shallow and deep sand pit sections inside the GWK are constructed in order to model realistic embedding of driven or drilled piles or to investigate stresses on real mobile sediment layers under wave and/or current load. In alliance with industrial partners, three exemplary pilot research projects are conducted within the project marTech on the topics of (a) wave energy converters, (b) geosythetic filter and sealing layers and (c) the development of novel scour protection systems made of widely graded broken stone material.
In order to provide profound recommendations for the hydraulic design and usage of the extended GWK, a 1:10-scale model of the future extended GWK (miniGWKplus) is designed and constructed. The subproject marTech-B includes the following main aspects:
- Construction, launch and operation of a small-scale model flume of the extended GWK (miniGWKplus), including a wave machine and a current generation system in 1:10.
- Optimising and investigation of the current inlet and outlet structures.
- A systematic experimental program to study the generation of waves, currents and combined wave-curent in the miniGWKplus.
- Small-scale model tests for the pilot projects.