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How we deal with backwash

The Coastal Ocean Basin (COB), a consortium of the Universities of Ghent and Leuven, and Flanders Hydraulic Research Institute, have created the scientific ground for the AllWaves reef setup. 

In 2020 we started off with experiments in COB’s wave flume facility. This concrete wave flume is 30m long, 1m wide and 1.2m high, such that a 2D slice of the passive wave absorber system can be investigated. Based on desk research that has been done prior to the tests, a passive wave absorber system was selected. This was subject to further investigation in terms of reflection coefficients and backwash velocities. The experimental set-up, test matrix and analysis results serve as design guidance for the passive wave absorber system in our test surf pool in Knokke-Heist.

It is specifically designed to avoid backwash and wave reflection. This results in soft slopes where incoming waves break and disappear seamlessly. After an AllWaves wave breaks, the water flows back into the pool without disturbing the next perfect, rolling set of waves. Thanks to that, there is no need to interrupt the surfing session to calm down the water. Waves can roll nonstop.

“Generating perfect wave conditions in recreational surf pools depends on the wave generation system and wave transformation phenomena. Backwash results in steep cross waves and confused wave conditions. Our experiments have led to a state-of-the-art solution delivering a generic reef, where more than 90% of the remaining energy is dissipated.”, say Prof. Peter Troch and Dr. Maximilian Streicher, Coastal & Ocean Basin, Ghent University, Belgium.

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