UNal opens a new wave channel, a unique one in Latin America
After more than a year of construction, this structure located at the UNal-Medellín Mining Faculty will serve not only for teaching and research but also for extension projects.Medellín, 08 de octubre de 2014 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
Although there are other channels in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and one opened recently in Uruguay, the UNal channel is the only one with current systems. Furthermore it is the largest in South America providing greater versatility and applicability.
The channel is 25 meters (82 ft.) long, one meter (2.6 ft.) wide and one meter deep. It can produce waves up to 30 cms. (11.8 in.) high and a depth of 60 cms. (23.6 in). It has a current system which can operate in the same or opposite direction of the wave, and for maximum flows of 90 liters per second (23.7 gallons per second).
“The wave channel will help research projects related to wave performance and structure,” said the Director of the UNal-Medellín Mining Faculty’s Hydraulics Laboratory Mauricio Toro.
Furthermore he said they could analyze how wave structures are modified with friction and obstacles, as diverse objects (corals, oil rigs, etc.) could be located in the wave path to observe how they interact and measure their strength. The channel is provided with a wave generating plate and a current system.
The structure was finished a little more than three months ago and is now being used by undergraduate students. Additionally it will not only serve for teaching and research purposes but also to develop extension projects.
Professor Toro says there are two master’s candidates whom are thinking of studying the effect of waves on coral reefs. In one of their projects they will place an obstacle resembling a coral reef and develop a mathematical model to compare the results. This project will be carried out by a student who is currently in an internship in Germany.
Building this project required an investment of close to US $296,000 (Col $600 million). Financing was from grants from the Universidad de Cantabria (Spain), UNal-Medellín Mining Faculty and the Research Directorate, besides other funds.
One of the most important aspects is that it has great potential for extension projects; therefore they are currently contacting entities such as COTECMAR or the General Maritime Directorate (DIMAR, for its Spanish acronym), which may use this installation for their research projects.
Furthermore the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, which is currently carrying out an Administrative Department for Science Technology and Innovation (Colciencias, for its Spanish acronym) joint project on the subject could use this channel for experimentation, which is currently being held abroad.(Por: Fin/ME/DMH/AC