£38,000 (US $61,000) FloWave Prize offers unparalleled opportunity for blue sky researchers Ocean energy pioneers of tomorrow to receive a week of free testing at world-leading wave and tidal test tank

The ocean energy pioneers of tomorrow have been offered the chance to compete for a week of free testing – worth £38,000 ($61,000) – at FloWave, the world’s most sophisticated ocean energy simulator.

The FloWave Prize – or ‘FPrize’ – is aimed at young researchers studying for PHDs and beyond, who must put forward their very best new marine energy ideas to be tested at scale in the FloWave tank.

FloWave Chief Executive Stuart Brown launched the global initiative at the annual symposium of INORE (the International Network on Offshore Renewable Energy) taking place this year in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Speaking at the event, which is being hosted by Dalhousie University, Brown said:

“The INORE Symposium attracts the very best young researchers from around the world, and the FloWave Prize offers these ocean energy pioneers of tomorrow an unparalleled opportunity to test out their ideas for free at the world’s most sophisticated ocean energy research facility.

“We can now see a number of marine renewable energy devices being tested full scale in energetic environments at sea. The significant technical and environmental challenges these machines face underlines the need to reap maximum benefit from scale testing in a realistic and controllable environment beforehand – in order to de-risk and optimize designs, and to further reduce the cost of clean energy from the ocean.

“We hope applicants will seize this opportunity to propose new concepts and industry-enabling technologies, thereby helping to accelerate the commercialization and global growth of clean ocean energy. We are particularly keen to see some innovative ‘blue sky’ thinking from applicants, and for collaborative projects that really lead the way to a sustainable energy supply for the future.

“The competition is not limited to post-graduates or INORE members, and we expect the winner and FloWave to disseminate widely any learning gained through the award,” Brown concluded.

The FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility, located at Edinburgh University’s King’s Buildings campus, is a 25 metre circular pool that can recreate complex waves and fast currents for project sites around the UK, North America and beyond. It is the first and only test facility of its kind in the world.

At a nominal one-twentieth scale FloWave can create scale waves equivalent to more than 14 metres, currents faster than 14 knots (faster than the Bay of Fundy), and has a huge test area equivalent to more than 2 km2 of ocean – perfect for testing the effects of multiple devices together and in realistic project layouts.

Applicants are to submit a two-page initial proposal to FloWave no later than January 31, 2015.

Applications will be judged by a panel including FloWave, INORE and Edinburgh University, with the final decision announced next summer. The tank will be available to the winner during July or August 2015.

Full details of the FloWave Prize will be published on the FloWave website on December 1.