Back in action: First images of Surf Lakes 2.0 show promise
Surf Lakes announced that their 5 Waves R&D facility is back up and running as they continue with more structural testing. The full-scale facility is in operation after the group made repairs, upgrades and improvements following a mixed launch last October.
The company said they have now successfully run sets that push out four consecutive waves. Max wave face heights reached 1.8 meters or 6 feet. They added that current tweaks are being made in the coming months to push that height up to 2.4 meters, or 8 feet.
Surf Lakes works via a giant plunger in the center of a lake that pumps out swell in 360 degrees like a stone dropped in a pond. While initial tests were impressive in 2018, the main connecting rod to the central wavemaker failed, throwing the company for a loop. Now the company is back up to full speed.
“Improvements were completed in late June and since then our engineering team has been undertaking further testing,” explained Surf Lakes. “They are working through a detailed process to refine the machine, systems and software to maximize efficiency, which will continue for several months. Using concentric waves for surfing is a totally new technology. Therefore, our engineering team is following a rigorous testing process.”
The company stated that while the Yeppoon facility is full scale, it is a prototype only and not open to the public. Surf Lakes said that the site is there to refine design changes and improvements to perfect a commercial model. Main points to be tested recently are overall construction methods, commissioning processes, drive system, the CWD (wave machine), the reef design and the surf-ability of the waves.
“We are also reviewing the wave shape results at different sizes in relation to the current reef bathymetry,” added Surf Lakes. “This information is being fed back into our Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling program in order to make further improvements. To date, the five-wave types are breaking with great promise, (whilst not yet perfect).”
The wave types for the Surf Lakes 5-Waves system include Level 1 and 2 breaks for beginners. Then go up to Level 4 and 5 waves, which are more challenging for experienced surfers. The system allows surfers to advance much like skiers advance from bunny slopes to black diamond runs.
“We anticipate all testing to be completed in late 2019, with the commercial design ready for licensees in early 2020. We are also in negotiations with several potential licensees in various countries, and hope to make announcements relating to these projects in the coming months.”
All images by Dany Taylor
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