Shallow water basin

We test vessels that sail in relatively shallow water such as rivers, canals, and nearby harbours.

We investigate inland waterway vessels, including manoeuvrability at low speed in shallow water. The Shallow water basin is used regularly to test offshore installations close to the coast in low water depth.

Waves and currents

The Shallow water basin is 22 m long, 15.8 m wide and the water depth can be adjusted between 0.10 m and 1.10 m. Waves can be created with the wave generator at the end of the basin. Waves occur along the coast and in inland waterways and can be substantially heavier in shallow water than in deep water.

Shallow water can lead to other shipping movements. In shallow water, the water cannot flow under the ship and thus flows in another way around the ship than is the case in deep water. The resistance of the vessel then changes.

Zero emission and wind-assisted shipping

There is a lot to do about electric cars as a way to reduce CO2 emisions. But shipping is also a major cause of pollution through the burning of diesel oil. So it’s time for zero-emission shipping and wind-assisted ships.

Here we do not talk about 100 % wind driven, because tight shipping schedules and unpredictable weather are too big of a risk. That’s why commercial shipping companies look into solutions combining wind with other ways of propulsion, like wind-assisted motorships or hybrid wind/motorships.

Volvo Ocean Race

As part of the research on future zero-emission ships we had the opportunity to perform calculations, model tests and measurements on the Volvo Ocean 65 (VO65) racing yacht of Simeon Tienpont which participated in the 2018 Volvo Ocean Race. This way we link top sport in the challenging Volvo Ocean Race to innovative, sustainable shipping.

As part of this research, MARIN built a VO65 ship model and carried out this week spectacular model tests in waves. The test results will help Simeon and his team to maximise their performance with their VO65. The VO65 research program includes numerical simulations, model tests and full-scale measurements onboard the VO65. All to optimise the performance of the VO65 in combined wind and waves. To win a race a ship should make optimal use of wind and waves. And the same goes for future ships using wind.

Of course zero-emission cannot be realised by wind-assisted shipping alone. Therefore we look further and do research for electric shipping on batteries or fuel cells like hydrogen.

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Did you know

the sand in the front part of the basin prevents the waves from rebounding?

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