Department of Ocean Engineering, University of Rhode Island – Wave-Current Flume

  • Fluid-structure interaction modeling
  • Indoor water channel or flume testing
  • Indoor wave flume testing
  • Turbine hydrodynamics
  • WEC hydrodynamics


This wave-current flume has a working section length of 8 m (4 bays), a depth of 1.2 m, and a width of 0.5 m. The flume can generate irregular waves (in 2 directions) and currents (2 directions) up to a relatively large flow speed of 1 m/s. In addition, the flume is equipped with software that controls the wave generator to create irregular/regular waves. Wave gauges are connected to the software to calibrate the wave maker and the absorption system. Waves and currents can be generated in both directions (e.g., following or opposing waves). The channel section of the flume is glazed with clear panels of toughened glass that provide visibility, enabling the use of Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). The PIV system consists of a high-speed digital camera (capable of 800 fps at 4 Mp resolution) and a 5W continuous wave laser for collecting moving particle images which may be used to calculate fluid vector fields. Finally, the flume has sediment traps and sediment transport studies (suspended and bedload); e.g., scouring around foundations of devices can be physically modeled in the flume. The flume can be used to study wave or tidal energy devices. Wave loads on tidal energy devices or impact of currents on wave energy devices can be studied in the flume as it has both wave and current generation capabilities.

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Point of Contact:
Reza Hashemi –