Testing is facilitated by the R/V Henderson fully-mobile laboratory, which is housed at the University of Washington. This catamaran vessel, with a moon pool and specialized load-handling equipment, is equipped to test complete wave, current, and tidal current energy converters (WECs, CECs, and TECs) while monitoring system performance and environmental conditions in real time.
There are presently no permits in place for testing at this site.
Plans for LWTS include short experiments with small-scale TECS and WEC initial deployments using the R/V Henderson.
TEC and CEC testing capabilities are in development, with expectations for pre-permitted operations to be online in 2016 for short-term experiments. Tests of 1 m-scale prototypes suspended below the enclosed R/V Henderson barge will be performed by driving the vessel at constant speed in quiescent water.
Barge data acquisition capabilities will include power analysis and data acquisition in the enclosed lab space and inflow/wake characterization using acoustic Doppler velocimeters positioned by a computer-controlled gantry.
LWTS is a freshwater option, often serving to verify platform functionality prior to deploying at the Puget Sound Test Site. Though without ocean swell, Lake Washington has 5 km fetch that results in 0.5 m waves at 3 s periods during storms. With significant depth (55 m) and isolated events associated with local winds, the Lake Washington Test Site allows for useful testing of initial field-scale WEC deployments. For TEC and CEC turbine testing, LWTS serves as a controlled environment where the R/V Henderson can act as a flume by moving at constant speed to simulate a specific current resource.