A manmade Dutch machine is able to produce a wave of almost any size and shape, including waves more than 5 metres tall.
Based near Delft in the Netherlands, the Deltares Research Institute houses the Delta Flume—a gigantic concrete tank with a 10m steel wall that moves the water back and forth, creating the largest artificial waves in the world.
The structure cost €26 million to build and took two years to construct, and the opportunities it can deliver are hugely important, both for the Netherlands and the rest of the world.
The colossal tank contains 9 million litres of water that’s pumped in at approximately 1,000 litres per second.
The movement, size and direction of waves can be adjusted in a variety of ways, allowing scientists to observe, analyse and test any number of scenarios or developments, including potential flood defence measures, and the capability of tidal lagoons, such as the Wyre Eco-THEP (Tidal Hydro Energy Plant).
The Netherlands is particularly susceptible to flooding, as two thirds of the country is at risk with sea levels continuing to rise, however it is the potential for renewable energy generation that remains most interesting, and most beneficial for the planet.
The Delta Flume is due to open next month.