The HiSeas Platform has been demonstrated in a real environment which accurately simulates the ocean environment to the scale of the model, which is 200 times smaller than an actual 40 MW HiSeas Turbine. The full-scale turbine has a rotor diameter of 250 meters, while the scale working model rotor diameter is 200 times less, or 1.25 meters. An off-the-shelf 400 watt turbine was used for the model. The model was constructed of standard stainless-steel tubing, 3D printed frame couplers, Styrofoam floats, and thin-walled plastic tubs for the stabilizers. Small, 30 watt DC gear-motors and 14 inch diameter model airplane propellers constituted the two propellers. Propeller control was by wireless RC transmitter.
Testing has been done in a small lake with about 1700 meters (~ 1 mile) of fetch (the distance of water over which the wind blows to generate waves). This fetch was enough to generate waves with a significant wave height to about 6 inches and a peak wave height to about 12 inches, with a wind speed to 20 mph. When multiplied by 200, these wave heights equate to 30 and 60 meters. 60 meters is twice the wave height of the largest wave recorded.
Development will continue with the construction and testing of increasingly large models, with the next likely being 100:1, with a 2.5 meter, 1500 watt turbine.