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Flume tank

Our flume tank

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Our flume tank

Our flume tank supports the development of aquatic technology in a simulated flow environment. 

When developing new technologies for the aquatic environment, it’s important to be able to test their performance in a controlled environment. Being able to visualise and measure whether a prototype performs as expected, with the advantage to modify during the testing phase, reduces the time and cost to creating new products. 

Innovators of new technology are able to test their prototypes in our purpose-built flume tank at the Nelson Research Centre. Opened in 2024, the flume generates uniform flow conditions of up to 1.5m/s to provide innovators with a range of speeds in which to trial their inventions before they’re launched in real life.  

With a six-metre length test section and up to 190,000 litres of fresh water moving in a recirculating uniform flow, the flume tank enables the hydrodynamic testing of equipment, devices and systems. 

We’re using the flume tank to test our fishing and aquaculture technologies, but the applications are wide ranging – if it's designed for use in the water, it can be tested, observed and measured in the flume tank. 

Tank Specifications 

  • Water volume: 190,000 litres (fresh water only) 

  • Tank size: 16 metres x 5 metres x 2.5 metres 

  • Test size: 6.3 metres x 2.6 metres x 2.5 metres 

  • Flow velocity : 0 – 1.5 m/s driven by 4 propulsion units, each 20kW power 

  • Tank: Galvanised frame with stainless steel walls  

  • 3 Acrylic viewing windows: 1.5 metres (H) x 1.6 m (W) 


  • 2 NORTEK Vector Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters 

  • 2 FUTEK tension load cells (maximum load 445N) 

  • Overhead gantry crane (2 tonne SWL) 

  • Remote control panel 

Learn more about our flume tank

Side view

Top view, showing platform

Top view, highlighting test section


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