COAST Laboratory - Research

Research case studies


Researchers used a combined program of field measurements, laboratory studies and analytical and numerical investigations to enable characterisation of environmental loading and performance to support management of lighthouse structural condition. The team were able to gather valuable data from progressive testing in both the 35m sediment flume and the Coastal Basin.   

Time lapse video of this project being set up in the COAST Lab


The aim of this research was to investigate the detailed physics of violent hydrodynamic impact loading on rigid and elastic structures through a carefully integrated programme of numerical modelling and physical experiments at large scale.  Models of 1:100 scale were fixed to the gantry in the Plymouth University Ocean Basin for the first scenario. Further tests were carried out in heave motion only, heave & pitch and in full 6 degrees of freedom (6 DOF) floating scenarios. 


This project was funded by H2020 and focused on the minimisation of the number of expensive anchors for a generic array of wave energy converters, via the interlinking of devices. The model was tested in the Ocean Basin using regular and irregular waves at a range of frequencies and amplitudes. 

Zonal CFD

Experiments conducted in the Ocean Basin measured the hydrodynamic interactions between a small vessel alongside a larger vessel during a launch and recovery operation. This data was used in the development of a zonal CFD approach for simulating these interactions

Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV)

Particle image velocimetry (PIV) is an optical method of flow visualization used in education and research. It is used to obtain instantaneous velocity measurements and related properties in fluids. Dr Edward Ransley MA MSci (Hons) MSc PhD, Researcher with the Faculty of Science and Engineering has used PIV in the COAST Lab to great effect as these images and video’s demonstrate.

Windt, C., Untrau, A., Davidson, J., Ransley, E. J., Greaves, D., Ringwood, J. V., Assessing the validity of regular wave theory in a short physical wave flume using particle image velocimetry, Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, 121 (2021).

Particle image velocimetry - Dr Edward Ransley

Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV)

Dr Edward Ransley MA MSci (Hons) MSc PhD