NREL's Flatirons Campus features a motion platform that simulates ocean conditions for water power, offshore wind energy, and solar power device validation.
Researchers and technology developers can use NREL's large-amplitude motion platform to validate their small or up to full-scale offshore technologies in a dry environment. The platform, which can emulate many of the typical wave states available across the United States, can also:
- Support devices that weigh up to 10,000 kg
- Perform the six degree-of-freedom motions that occur in the ocean, including surges of up to 2.5 m, sways up to 2.3 m, and heaves up to 1.8 m
- Be used outdoors to validate offshore wind turbines, floating lidar, floating solar panels, and more
- Use real wave data to mimic actual sea conditions and modify motions in real time.
With NREL’s large-amplitude motion platform, researchers and technology developers can identify potential flaws before subjecting their prototypes to open ocean trials, which can be time-consuming and costly. The platform enables researchers to fine-tune their designs quickly and cost-effectively.