Hydraulic engineering laboratory ready for the next 40 years

Over the course of 2013, most of the hydraulic and coastal engineering laboratory in Building 114 has been renovated so that the various test facilities for hydrodynamics can continue to provide the necessary practical understanding of the discipline.

“We’re now ready to take on the next 30–40 years,” relates Associate Professor Stefan Carstensen, general coordinator of the activities in the laboratory. The renovation work was launched in 2012, and the last major aspects will be completed in 2014—with some minor details to be dealt with in 2015 and 2016.

Thorough renovation
The bottom and sides of the old flumes were lined with varnished plywood, and problems with leaks had gradually arisen. Almost all the leaks have now been repaired, and the work on flumes five and six is finished. The problem has been dealt with by replacing the plywood with PVC plates. “The old solution required ongoing maintenance of the varnish. However, this is a comprehensive task and difficult to coordinate with intensive use of the flumes,” relates Stefan Carstensen regarding the previous solution, which will soon have been replaced in all theflumes.

Experiments can now be carried out without researchers having to compensate for a falling water level on account of leaks in the channels. In several places, the wood in the channels has been replaced with extra glass so that researchers can use their measuring equipment in a number of locations without disturbing and altering the flow conditions in the flumes. Glass sections for taking measurements have also been inserted in the bottom of flume three. A major part of the renovation took place in the basement, where the old pumps have been replaced with new ones. The old control consoles have also been replaced with new, more user-friendly models.

vandhallen i bygning 114
In flume two, the old wood panels in the sides have been replaced with glass and PVC. The experiment underway here formspart of a Master’s thesis entitled ‘ Pore pressure under a GBS and interaction with the seabed under the influence of wavesby Mikael Thyge Madsen and Peter Hesselbjerg.



The lab is now accessible to users without advance knowledge
Above all, the renovation of the laboratory means that researchers and students can use the test facilities without having to waste time dealing with things that are not functioning as expected. “
We can really see that things are functioning better, because new users are now able to operate the facilities  without special knowledge of how to make things work,” says Stefan Carstensen.

Important for practical understanding
Without the hydraulic engineering laboratory, students at DTU could actually complete their courses without the necessary practical understanding of fluid mechanics. “The physical understanding of the processes is extremely important to engineers,” explains Stefan Carstensen. “It is one of the cornerstones of the subject of hydrodynamics and coastal engineering, and for the companies that specialize in this area.”

Vandhallen, bygning 114

The experimental set-up shown here is a part of a project in which students are examining the effect of breaking waves on a cylinder. The cylinder represents a monopile foundation for  a wind turbine, or a tubular component in a jacket/lattice foundation for a drilling rig. The pressure around the pile and the forces acting on the pile are measured to establish how they develop as the wave breaks.


Vandhallen, bygning 114
 In flume three, you can still see the old wood and how it has been damaged by the Water.



AC-Stål modified the steel foundations.

ABB installed the pump motors and instrumented the new control consoles.

Hundested Propeller A/S renovated the pump propellers.

LINATEX A/S supplied and fitted the PVC panels in the flumes in partnership with AC-Stål.




Stefan Carstensen
Associate Professor
DTU Mechanical Engineering
+45 45 25 14 02