General – Testfacility
Today, the unique GeoCentrifuge, a new research facility of the Dutch knowledge institute Deltares, is opened to test larger offshore wind turbines for suitability.
With the GeoCentrifuge, soil processes can be tested to scale by increasing gravity. What would normally take years in the ground can now be reduced to mere hours. Given the social challenges caused by climate change, subsidence and pressure on space, this innovative research facility is vital for a resilient and sustainable infrastructure.
Dikes have to be safe, especially with a view to the changing climate and more extreme weather. In the GeoCentrifuge, for instance, Deltares tests scale models of water defence constructions under extreme conditions that hardly ever occur.
Constructions not yet built, such as larger offshore wind turbines, can be tested for suitability, for example to check if the turbine foundations can withstand extreme forces.
Infrastructure, like roads, tunnels, pipelines or railways, can also be tested in the GeoCentrifuge to study the effects of aging, increased use, or subsidence and climate change.
Harm Aantjes, researcher at Deltares: “Thanks to the dimensions and range of this centrifuge, we can test infrastructure constructions under extreme conditions before they are built. This contributes to keeping our delta safe and liveable under changing circumstances.”
The centrifuge has a maximum speed of 347km/hour, 3 revolutions per second at a gravity of 150g.
The opening at Deltares was performed by Mark Harbers, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, and Annemieke Nijhof, general director of Deltares.