Making big waves in China to test ship design

Engineering and environmental hydraulics company, HR Wallingford, has been awarded a £12m contract to supply a deep water Wave Generation System to equip a Seakeeping and Manoeuvring Basin which is being created by the Shanghai Ship and Shipping Research Institute (SSSRI) on an island off the east coast of China to test ship design.

SSSRI, which is owned by COSCO, China’s state-owned shipping company – the third largest shipping company in the world - conducts research and development into ship design, and the new basin will be used to test innovative vessel design, in order to improve the efficiency and stability of different kinds of ships. SSSRI is building an entirely new state-of-the-art complex on Changxing island off Shanghai where, in addition to the basin which HR Wallingford is helping to equip, the facility will house a Towing Tank and a Cavitation Tunnel (used to test the performance of propellers). The investment in this new facility marks a significant upgrade of SSSRI’s capabilities.

In order to carry out tests on some of the largest vessels afloat, the new basin is on an enormous scale measuring 225m long x 45m wide, and some 6m deep, with wave making machines on two sides of the tank, and with a carriage running above the basin so that large scale models of boats with different hulls can be pulled through the water. HR Wallingford will be supplying 120 banks of its deep water hinged-type paddles, equating to 478 individual wave makers. This will enable the facility to provide realistic sea conditions for the ship tests, including long-crested, short-crested and directional waves from the two sides of the basin, or from a combination of the two sides, with wave heights of up to 1m.

Dr Bruce Tomlinson, Chief Executive of HR Wallingford Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be working with SSSRI to help them to equip this impressive facility, which will be the largest wave modelling system that HR Wallingford has supplied in the more than forty years that we have been developing wave makers. At £12m, this is a significant equipment contract, and we are looking forward to further developing the collaboration with SSSRI in the Chinese and global maritime sector into the future. Indeed we see this as a significant opportunity to offer our specialist expertise in port design and optimisation to the Chinese maritime market and the wider region.”

In addition to the design and supply of the wave makers, as part of this three year contract, HR Wallingford will install and validate the equipment, as well as train the users of the system.

The wave making system will be designed and manufactured in the U.K. before being shipped to Shanghai, ready for installation to begin in October 2019, with the facility expected to be operational from August 2020.

See HR Wallingford’s wave maker systems in action:

HR Wallingford’s own physical modelling facilities in Oxfordshire extend to approximately 14,400 m² and are housed in three purpose built halls, including six wave basins, and several wave flumes, the largest of which, the Fast Flow Facility, can house the company’s Tsunami Simulator.

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