• Question: What has been your favorite exiting experiment so far and why?

    Asked by superstar to Ollie on 2 Mar 2020.
    • Photo: Ollie Otter

      Ollie Otter answered on 2 Mar 2020:

      The nicest experiments I have done so far were with a scale model of a big ship in our wave pool.
      I was simulating storm conditions off the west coast of Ireland to see how a big ship would behave in such a storm.
      Say, in the future, when we might have offshore wind farms off the west coast they will probably be floating wind farms far from the coast and the electricity they produce will be used to make hydrogen, a renewable fuel.
      While the wind farm is making it, this fuel will need to be stored somewhere and the easiest way to do that is to store it in big ships that will drift near the wind farm. When the ship is full it will bring the fuel to shore.
      Now imagine a big storm off the west coast. Before we put any ship in it we want to know how the ship will behave and if it is safe to have such a ship in really big waves and strong wind.
      So that’s what I was doing in the experiments. I was making big waves in our wave pool and throwing them at the scale model, which was a lot of fun!
      At some point a few waves even flooded the scale model and it capsized. Oops…
      The experiments were useful though, because they showed that we can have ships out in pretty big storms off the west coast, and we now also know when the waves will be too big for such ships so they know when to leave the wind farm and find shelter in a harbour.