University CrestEdinburgh Wave Power Group

The Flow Table



The Institute
The School
The University


We built the flow table for two reasons:

  • To try out and demonstrate a new way of generating multi-directional water currents that Stephen Salter had proposed using in a large circular combined wave and current tank
  • To provide a small-scale tidal current test tank

left: the flow table partly assembled. The clear Lexan containing wall gives a brilliant view. The ring of 48 foils is visiblew at the bottom. They are driven round like the toy-horses on a a carousel and, depending on their pitch angles, either pump water radially outwards or radially inwards.

centre: the flow table complete and full of water. All of the bends are in place, so you can't see any of the flow generating parts. The outer ring of 36 'bends' redirects water flows from the rotor at bottom into the upper working zone.

right: a multiple exposure for 3 different flows taken from above the tank. Tethered white floats are used to show the flow. The colours have been changed in processing to separate them into groups. The flow states are mutually at 120 degrees to one another

The project was financed by the EPSRC (The UK government's Engineering and Physical Science Research Council). You can see a copy of our illustrated final report to them.


Construction of the flow table


The photos show Craig Low and Gregory Payne during the construction of the flow table:

left: Craig Low doing his impersonation of Leonardo's famous drawing after unwrapping one of the larger components. Because of their size, many of the components for the flow table had to be made for us by outside contractors. The principal supplier was Ross Deeptech of Stonehaven.

centre: Craig inside the ring of 56 stepper-motors and gearboxes making an adjustment to one of the 'see-saws' which couple each of them to the cam band.

right: Gregory Payne helps Craig to lower the ring of stepper motors into place.