Motion Platform

NREL's Flatirons Campus features a motion platform that simulates ocean conditions for water power, offshore wind energy, and solar power device validation.

Motion Platform wave machine

The lab’s large-amplitude motion platform, or LAMP, can mimic ocean motions, including waves up to 8 ft high, and supports devices weighing about as much as a small recreational vehicle. Photos by Bryan Bechtold, NREL

Explore the motion platform's capabilities below or via the NREL motion platform fact sheet.


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.