New wave generator in Trondheim makes even better research possible

The maritime industry is changing. What remains are the forces of waves, wind and currents, which this industry must always take into account. The Ocean Space Center in Trondheim (Norway) conducts innovative research into these forces. The Dutch company Van Halteren Technologies Boxtel built a new wave generator for this Ocean Space Center. MPM partner Marcel van der Hart took on project leadership. Back from Trondheim, where he attended the so-called site acceptance test (SAT), he talks enthusiastically about this project.

Ocean Space

“The Ocean Space Center is a research institute of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The university and the implementation organization SINTEF Ocean are conducting research there. The term ‘ocean space center’ refers to the space on, under and near the water. So there where the forces of waves, wind and currents occur. NTNU and SINTEF have developed and continue to develop advanced testing and analysis methods for this maritime context for many years.”

Model tests

The Skipsmodelltanken is the large laboratory of NTNU and SINTEF. Marcel: “In this enormous basin they use model tests to test the forces that waves, wind and currents have on ships, offshore structures, wind turbines, fish farms, bridges and submarine installations. Using advanced systems, the Norwegian researchers test these constructions in exactly the same environment that the constructions must ultimately withstand. So very realistic. This research should increase safety, reduce costs and energy consumption and increase the lifespan and durability of the tested structures.”


The Skipsmodelltanken is a building from 1939. The future plans of NTNU and SINTEF Ocean include larger, modern research facilities. That transition requires a much larger Ocean Basin, without current research being hampered by the expansion. To prepare the land for the new laboratory, the old building had to be temporarily reduced. The wave generator built by Van Halteren Technologies Boxtel (VHT) has been placed in the reduced Skipsmodelltanken.

‘We placed the wave generator of 10.30 meters wide in a basin of 10.40 meters wide’


Marcel: “We are talking about a machine with a weight of 30 tons, a height of 5.2 meters and a width of exactly 10.30 meters. This machine had to be shipped to Trondheim via the port of Rotterdam and transported there at night by exceptional road transport to the Skipsmodelltanken. This size of the wave generator shows how large the water masses are that the machine has to process. I just mentioned the 10.30 meter width. This is relevant because we had to place the machine in a basin with a width of 10.40 meters. Installing the wave generator was a precision job.”


At the beginning of June, Marcel was again in Trondheim for the site acceptance test (SAT). “The new wave generator functions as agreed. For this contract, we provide the end customer with further training and resolve the last remaining issues. We are now already preparing the next phase. The new building will house two enormous basins. Van Halteren Technologies Boxtel will soon supply all kinds of machines and installations for this purpose. It is my responsibility that this happens smoothly. The design and technology of these machines also require well-oiled cooperation between the various disciplines in the construction project, both in the Netherlands and Norway.”