Natural waves are generated from wind, thus the wave paddle has sophisticated electronics which replicate these conditions. Hence just like in reality, waves can be generated which vary in height and period. The flume has glass sides which allows non-intrusive measurement system to measure the physics of waves and validate fundamental wave theories. The flume is used in many coastal engineering applications and can be used to test model structures.
Recent press reports suggest that due to climate change sea level may be rising and storms are becoming greater, hence an existing coastal structure may not be able to withstand these conditions. Thus a typical application maybe be the overtopping of coastal structures whereby a model coastal structure is placed in the flume and the overtopping (the volumes of water going over the structure) is measured, this allows engineers to assess the performance of the structure under future possible wave conditions.