Designing and testing a multi-use floating breakwater

Within the Blue Growth research programme, MARIN applies its hydrodynamic expertise to develop innovative and sustainable maritime concepts. Recently, we developed a multi-purpose floating breakwater that reduces the energy of incident waves in order to decrease wave loads on offshore floating structures and vessels. The application of this concept is also interesting for near-shore environments where floating breakwaters may form a viable solution to reducing shoreline erosion.

Our concept consists of a floating “beach” that is suspended in the water column and enforces wave breaking. This breaking-wave concept enables the structure to effectively reduce the energy of the incident waves, whilst the net wave loads on the structure are minor. The favourable balance between the attenuation of wave energy and wave drift loads was demonstrated through both CFD simulations and basin tests.

In collaboration with partners from Wageningen Marine Research and Deltares, the structure is being developed so to assure it has a positive ecological impact or can support a dual-use function such as shellfish aquaculture. A demonstration video is available at