The Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub has awarded almost £1 million to UK universities to support research projects investigating all aspects of offshore renewable energy (ORE).
The Hub’s Flexible Fund has been established to enable UK researchers to respond to a number of key ORE engineering challenges.
It also aims to support project areas that complement existing research, fill gaps or add cross-cutting activities to explore the transfer of research findings between sectors within ORE.
The research being funded in this first Flexible Fund call ranges from new and novel technologies for autonomously inspecting offshore wind farms to advanced satellite observations to improve the performance of offshore renewable installations.
The University of Bath has been granted funds for Flow measurement for accurate tidal turbine design.
A key problem with predicting tidal turbine lifespan is a lack of data on the unsteady flow conditions at tidal sites. This lack of data causes inaccurate calculations of the lifespan of tidal turbines and drives up the cost of tidal power generation. A prototype probe has been designed which can capture small fluctuations in the flow despite the high hydrostatic pressure when the probe is at depth. This project will develop the probe from a laboratory prototype and prove its operation in marine environments – paving the way for cheap, detailed site surveys, and better predictions of turbine lifespan.
The Supergen ORE Hub is led by Professor Deborah Greaves OBE, Head of the School of Engineering and Computing, Electronics and Mathematics at the University of Plymouth and includes Co-Directors from the University of Aberdeen, University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, University of Hull, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, University of Southampton, University of Strathclyde, and the University of Warwick.
Professor Greaves, Director of the Supergen ORE Hub, said:
“The Supergen ORE Hub first call for Flexible Funding has received a great deal of interest, with a large number of high-quality research proposals submitted. We are delighted to award this funding aimed at enabling researchers, in collaboration with industry partners, to deliver fundamental research that will advance the development of the offshore renewable energy sector.”
Ross Wigg, Lead Industrial Partner of the Supergen ORE Advisory Board and Renewables Director – Asset Performance at the LOC Group, said:
“With offshore renewables now a significant player in the nation’s energy landscape, the benefits of scientists and industry experts working closely together, utilising their combined knowledge and expertise will be seen by large and small companies across the UK and beyond.
“The Supergen ORE hub is an excellent example of this in action. It has been incredibly exciting to see the level of industry engagement and collaboration across the first Flexible Funding Call applications. The successful research projects will be invaluable in tackling some of the key challenges that the offshore renewable industries face both now and in the future”