The National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility provides independent and objective performance testing of full-scale oil spill response equipment and marine renewable energy systems (wave energy conversion devices), and helps improve technologies through research and development. It is the largest outdoor saltwater wave/tow tank facility in North America and is the only facility where full-scale oil spill response equipment testing, research, and training can be conducted in a marine environment with oil under controlled environmental conditions (waves and oil types). With recent emphasis on developing renewable energy sources, Ohmsett`s mission has expanded to offer a research and testing venue for wave energy conversion devices.
Ohmsett is located at the Naval Weapons Station Earle Waterfront in scenic Leonardo, New Jersey (approximately one hour south of New York City). Ohmsett's above ground concrete test tank is one of the largest of its kind, measuring 203 meters long by 20 meters wide by 3.4 meters deep. The tank is filled with 2.6 million gallons of crystal clear saltwater.
The Ohmsett test tank allows testing of full-scale equipment. The tank's wave generator creates realistic sea environments, while state-of-the-art data collection and video systems record test results. Our facility has proven to be ideal for testing equipment, evaluating acquisition options, and validating research findings.
Government agencies, academia, public and private companies are invited to contract the use of Ohmsett as a research center to test oil spill containment/clean-up equipment and techniques, to test new designs in response equipment, and to conduct training with actual oil spill response technologies.
- A main towing bridge capable of towing test equipment at speeds up to 6.5 knots
- An auxiliary bridge oil recovery system to quantify skimmer recovery rates
- A wave generator capable of simulating regular waves up to one meter in height, as well as a simulated harbor chop, FM Slides with selectable: slue rates, start and stop; Pierson-Moskowitz & JONSWAP spectra parameterized by wind speed & scale
- A movable, wave-damping artificial beach
- An oil distribution and recovery system that can handle heavy, viscous oils and emulsions
- A control tower with a fully-computerized 32-channel data collection system as well as above-and below-water video
- A centrifuge system to recover and recycle test oil
- Blending tanks with a water and oil distribution system to produce custom oil/water emulsions for testing
- A filtration and oil/water separator system
- An electrolytic chlorinator to control biological activity
- Permanent and mobile storage tanks that can hold over 227,000 liters of test fluids
- A vacuum bridge to clean the bottom of the tank
- Staging and shop area for special fabrication
- On-site Oil/Water Laboratory
- 15,000 lb forklift
Through a variety of mechanical, electrical, and chemical systems at Ohmsett, the following test parameters can be controlled or measured:
- Sea state (wave height, length, and period)
- Tow speed
- Meteorological data
- Water temperature and salinity
- Volume of oil encountered and recovered by test equipment or protocol
- Oil-water ratios
- Physical characteristics of experimental oil
- Behavior of treated oils
A summary of activities conducted at Ohmsett has been compiled to provide a comprehensive overview of the capabilities of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's (BSEE) Ohmsett Facility.
It is designed as a general information database and reference for managers, scientists, engineers, technical specialists, spill responders and the general public who have an interest in understanding oil spill response technology and current progress in improving this technology.