NERC flume

This large recirculating tidal flume was commissioned in 2005 and was funded by the Natural
Environment Research Council (NERC) under the Equipment Grant NE/C513269/1. The
dimensions of the working section are: length of 17m, depth of 1m (with an operating flow
depth of 800mm) and width of 1.2m. The flume can operate within a discharge range from
about 10 to 1000 litres/s, giving a peak velocity of nearly 1m/s; additional removable sections
have also been constructed for the flume, enabling even higher velocity flows to be generated
where required. The flume is now capable of bi-directional unsteady flow (i.e. to simulate tidal
currents) and includes the two-way tilting mechanism for experiments with a sloping bed.
Modifications were subsequently made to the inlet and outlet configurations to accommodate
smoother high flow conditions.

In addition to the flume, dedicated monitoring equipment currently include: a Vectrino, for
velocity and turbulence measurements at up to 200Hz, an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV),
a bed profiler for measurement of the bed elevation changes and 2 dedicated desktop
computers, for managing the extensive data acquisition.

Tidal energy model studies are conducted in the flume using scaled state-of-the-art model
turbines. In the first series of flume experiments an idealised model estuary has been sited
along the flume (click here for further information about this project).