SeaWHAM project has led to the installation of a unique facility located in La Spezia, Italy, for testing wave energy converters. This consists of an open-sea wave tank with the possibility of physical generation of different wave sea states in deep water conditions and real environment. This wave tank facility can produce waves up to 0,7m in height and 3s in period, having an overall wave front of 5m.
The system consists in a flap-type wavemaker characterized by a fixed structure and a mobile one. This fact facilitates maintenances activities and plant dismantling process of the submerged components. The wavemaker is composed by 5 modules, identical for dimensions, characterized by 1m width each. The height of the modules, namely a flay bulkhead, is about 4m, and has been designed as a cantilever element: this allow the complete removal of each module from water. The wavemaker is driven by a pump-motor unit of about 40kW, the oil under pressure is then responsible of the activation of 5 double-effect, double-rod, pistons.
The facility is now ready to host different experimental campaigns in real sea conditions, the first one targeting the latest prototype of Seaspoon wave energy converter (1kW pneumatic power), for off-shore power supply applications.