Recent funding from the federal government and the National Science Foundation has enabled us to develop W2: a unique multidirectional wind-wave ocean basin at the University of Maine. With a novel rotating open-jet wind tunnel positioned over a 30m long x 9m wide x 5m deep wave basin, we use a programmable directional wave maker to simulate wave and wind environments typical of the Gulf of Maine, Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. The pivoting wind generator will produce high quality wind environments up to hurricane-speeds, while allowing variation in wind direction from 0 – 180o relative to the wave. The wind environment will replicate wind shear effects, as well as turbine wake effects over water in the ocean, making possible new breakthrough research on ocean-related processes and energy harvesting devices. This paper reports on the design and development of the wind-wave generating system, including scaled mock-up studies and a concept design.
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