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Record-breaking waves at FabTest

Wave height of 9.3 metres recorded at Falmouth Bay site

Record-breaking waves at FabTest image

New Year storms that battered the British coastline brought record-breaking waves to the FabTest marine energy testing site at Cornwall’s Falmouth Bay.

The waves were measured at 9.3 metres high, or more than 30 feet, during one of the most ferocious periods as Storm Frank passed over the southwest English coast.

The waves, recorded on 30 December, surpassed the previous largest wave in Falmouth Bay seen on 14 February 2014 that measured 8.75 metres.

The University of Exeter’s Renewable Energy group, based at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall and which manages the FaBTest site in conjunction with Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, recorded the monstrous waves during routine monitoring at the site.

University of Exeter Renewable Energy associate research fellow Jon Hardwick said: “The large waves measured during the last couple of weeks demonstrate the extreme forces that devices experience out at sea, even when placed in normally sheltered areas such as Falmouth Bay.”

Offshore renewable group leader Professor Lars Johanning added: “The latest event shows the importance of FabTest as a marine energy demonstration site, where innovative technologies can be cost-effectively demonstrated in a sheltered bay with good access to shore facilities and relevant sea conditions.”

The FabTest site, which is the only wave energy testing device of its kind in England, is a two square kilometre area in Falmouth Bay situated 7.5km from the dock’s entrance. The ‘nursery’ facility enables up to three devices to be deployed and tested concurrently.

Image: FabTest is located in Falmouth Bay (WaveHub)

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