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New Large Wave Current Flume GWK+

© LUH/Thomas Damm
They launched the first wave in the new Large Wave Current Channel: LUH president Prof. Dr. Volker Epping, Federal Minister Robert Habeck, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Nils Goseberg, Minister President Stephan Weil, TU BS president Prof. Dr. Angela Ittel, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Torsten Schlurmann.
© FBG/Mentzel
With the new wave machine, a deep section and a current generation system the GWK+ is unique in the world.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck and Minister President of Lower Saxony Stephan Weil opened the research facility together with representatives of the universities

In recent years, Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) and Technische Universität Braunschweig (TU BS) have designed and extensively expanded the new Large Wave Current Flume (GWK+) in Hannover-Marienwerder. More than 35 million euros have been invested to significantly advance research on the energy transition in the GWK+. Among other things, fixed and floating foundation structures of offshore wind turbines are investigated here. On 30 June 2023, the unique large-scale research infrastructure was commissioned in the presence of Robert Habeck, Federal Minister of Economics and Climate Protection, and Stephan Weil, Minister President of Lower Saxony, together with the university presidents and the lead researchers.

The demands on coastal protection as well as advances in marine technology and above all in the generation of renewable energies on and from the sea have steadily increased and it is expected that this trend will continue to intensify in the future. In order to further advance research and development in these areas, the BMWi financed the marTech project (maritime technologies) with 35 million euros. As part of this project, GWK was turned into a unique test facility with which the natural environmental conditions at sea can be simulated on a large scale in the laboratory in the best possible way. All major effects of waves and (tidal) currents are simulated and the natural seabed conditions are mapped.

With a new, more powerful wave machine, larger waves and loads can be generated, which will enable even more realistic testing and further development of structures under extreme conditions. With a current generation system, e.g. tidal currents can be generated in order to investigate their impact on sediment stability and structures, as well as to consider and analyze nonlinear wave-current interactions. A deep section in the middle of the canal enables sediment to be installed at ground level. Structures can be bedded realistically, deep foundations can be examined with their degradation effects and non-linear structure-soil interactions can be recorded.

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