In May 2018 ARC Marine took the opportunity to undertake physical modelling at Plymouth University’s COAST laboratory. ARC Marine had a three week testing phase to use the 20 metre current and wave flume. These tests were run and supervised by Dr Carlos Perez-Collazo, an experienced research fellow at Plymouth University. ARC Marine took this opportunity to test the scour effect that occurs around an off shore wind turbine and to see if Reef Cubes would work as a remedial for stabilisation of the sea bed around a turbine. Initial tests were undertaken to find an optimal turbine scale for testing within this flume size and positioning within the sediment area that was present.
After many runs the optimum models were identified and sediment position established. All testing was recorded with a HD camera and scour depths were recorded using a traverse laser scanner to capture in greater detail sediment deposits and movement.
The first test was to create and identify the scour pit around a wind turbine model. The sediment and monopile model were put in position and the traverse was set to a high detail scan for four hours to record the starting parameters for the test. The current within the flume was then run at 1.3 meters per second for six hours with the traverse running a basic scan every ten minutes. At the end of the six hour run, the scour pit had been created and the traverse was put on another high detail scan for another four hours. Phase one was now complete and ARC Marine was ready to begin testing their Reef Cubes.