Wave Testing – The Next Level
After recently touring the main facility of Global Oceanic Designs, Inc. we were taken to their sister property for a tour. This property is known as The X-Wave Facility. And man, we were so blown away by what we saw there that we just HAD to write about it!
The X-Wave facility was originally designed to expedite the development and testing of ocean related technologies.
Honestly, if you think about it, it makes sense to have a wave testing facility of your own when you create surface and sub-surface technologies and consult on devices that use ocean waves to facilitate the creation of energy. That’s not the only reason they created the facility. There are very few in the country and the demand is so high that wait times can be outlandish.
That’s just wrong. I mean, how is the world supposed to get the “Green, Clean Energy” that everyone is asking for if the waiting list … just to be able test the idea … is a mile long? Especially since, by waiting, you’re just wasting money.. don’t they understand that “Time is money?”. Ok, I’m done ranting now…
Upon entering the facility, not only were we greeted by this incredible park like environment, but we were also greeted by one of the technologies on display at the property that Global Ocean Designs, Inc is currently consulting on. The SeaDog Wave Pump that was created by SeaDog Systems, Inc.
The facility is located on a 7.6 acre wooded property that has recently been renovated. We were also impressed by the main feature of the “park” (shown above), a massive outdoor, above-ground ocean-wave research pool. At a size of over 96,000 cubic feet, it is quite impressive.
We had to ask, “So, what is something like this used for, we mean, we know it makes waves, but who would need something like that besides you guys?” We were almost dumbfounded at what they told us.
Ever seen The 1997 Movie starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet, Titanic? Or the 2006 Movie starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher, The Guardian? Well, a lot of the scenes in those movies were filmed in wave tanks. Movies aren’t the only thing that would use a wave tank, you also have educational institutions. Something else we were told is that it can be used by athletes, or even coastal first responders, for training purposes. Sometimes you just don’t think about that kind of stuff, right?
Or just for kicks, you could have a massive pool party! Like the X-Wave facility staff did. We have pictures.. shhh…
But seriously, this is one impressive facility. The pool itself is complemented by four adjacent buildings.
Two underground bunkers located at each end of pool, with two underwater viewports in each, which are normally used for gathering data and study laboratories while testing is going on.
When we went down there, we looked into the pool and the water was so clear that we were able to easily see one of the SeaDog staff currently submerged in the other end of the pool doing routine checks on one of the SeaDog Wave Pumps.
We made a comment about the water clarity and were informed it’s a fresh-water pool that uses no external chemicals at all. The water in the pool is constantly being filtered to the point that it’s essentially filled with “drinking water”. On a side note, the filtering system was also designed by Global Oceanic Designs, Inc. (Do these guys ever sleep?)
Incidentally, when we went back above ground, we snapped a quick shot of the staff member we referred to… “Smile”. Meet Rick Martin, aka “Captain”, shown here.
Additionally, there are two above ground buildings at each end of the pool’s upper deck. One, the main control room. The controls are completely computerized and can be designed to meet the specific operational demands of the clients needing waves made.
Now here’s something cool… The wave makers they use are one-of-a-kind. Conceived and designed by Kenneth W. Welch, Jr and the team at Global Oceanic Designs, Inc. They are unique in the fact that they use a custom created counter weight system with a combination of displacement blocks, magnets and actuators controlling levered arms. (At least, that’s what we were told, it’s a bit out of our pay-grade.) Not only is the system capable of sustaining recoiling waves from as low as 6 inches to as high as 7 feet, they can also generate various unique wave patterns… That’s just wicked cool.
The other building we didn’t get a chance to see, but we were told it serves as a waiting and elevated observation area and in the future will store a variety of monitoring equipment and mooring devices to provide X-Wave’s clients the ability to modify their testing setups. Impressive.
While they currently use external contractors to move heavy protototypes and equipment, plans are in motion to outfit the pool with cranes and lifts. Additionally wind turbines will be placed in the pool allowing the facility to replicate a variety of sea states, such as storms, accurately.
On the left front side of the grounds is X-Wave’s fully equipped machine shop and materials library. It’s a workspace that provides tools for working with acrylic, steel, wood or any other type of material that might be used by clients. You will also find the management staff offices in this building.
They told us that they are planning on converting this building into an exhibition/showcase in the near future and adding a separate building to replace the existing machine shop.
They are also planning on adding another building which is going to be a 2-Story office complex and will offer additional office space for use by X-Wave clientele.
The pool is currently housing and configured for the final, Nameplate testing of the Commercial SeaDog Wave Pumps, wave driven water pumps powered by the natural ebb and flow of ocean waves. Once testing is completed, all SeaDog Pump Equipment and configurations will be removed and the pool will be available for other clientele. The press is looking forward to being involved in that!
Additionally, when it’s available to the world, they’ll be using another technology created by Global Oceanic Designs, Inc. known as the GTBD (a graphical interface unlike anything else on the net) for their marketing purposes.
All in all, we think this place is beautiful, and obviously necessary to help expedite getting this world “Greener” and cleaner. Hopefully, we’ll get invited back for another tour in the future!