Field Test Sites
Steady Towing Test Field Site (operated by WaveBarrier)
Montgomery Lough is located just out of Ballynahinch village, 25 mins S of Belfast,
Northern Ireland. The lake is approximately 400m in length, 133m wide with a surface
area of 63000m^2. A 200m towing track with an approximate depth of 6m runs down the
centre of the lake which is suitable for steady flow towing tests. The site is ideal
for accurate device testing, because the surrounding vegetation and hills shelter the
lake from adverse weather conditions and the reed beds that line the lake provide damping
for test repeatability. Various tidal devices have been tested, including a 1/10th scale
prototype of Evopod, developed by Oceanflow Energy, and a set of two mono-strut turbines
used for tandem/array testing.
A rig has been developed and constructed by Wave Barrier for use in the towing tests.
The rig consists of two hulls in a catamaran arrangement, with a test section in the centre.
The rig is pushed by a second catamaran driven using outboard engines on the transom of each hull.
The rig dimensions are flexible and can be tailored to suit different devices and test conditions.
Site facilities are also available.
Tidal Test Site
Strangford Lough is a large sea loch of approximately 150km^2 in County Down, NI, with a
narrow inlet where fast flowing tides and a confused sea state provide ideal tidal test conditions.
This area has already been used to test a tidal device with the installation of MCT's device
SeaGen in 2008. Devices can be tested in tidal flows up to 2m/s in the anchorages and 4m/s in
the main channel. Wave Barrier's rig has most recently been used for array testing of two mono-strut
turbines, for site comparison with Montgomery Lough. The field office is situated in Portaferry,
with all facilities required for device testing, including an underwater cable led from the mooring
to the lab for device power supply and data acquistion.