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Offshore Renewable Energy Research Gets £1M Funding

Dominique Adams

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Scottish wind farms

Strathclyde University-led research is set to receive a financial boost from a share of £1 million of funding. 

The Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Hub has awarded research projects at Strathclyde University a share of its £1 million Flexible Fund.

The fund was established to enable UK researchers to respond to a key ORE engineering challenges. One of the projects, which is led by Dr Liu Yang from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is focused on developing a cost effective, commercially viable recycling process for wind turbine blades. A project that seeks to develop a new approach for the physical model testing of floating wind turbine platforms will also receive a share .

Dr David McMillan from Electronic and Electrical Engineering is also partnering in a project on advanced satellite observations to improve the performance of offshore renewable installations, while Dr Qing Xiao, also from Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering, is involved in research for autonomously inspecting offshore wind farms.

The university is a key member of the consortium, which brings together a network of academic, industrial and policy stakeholders to champion and maintain the UK’s wave, tidal and offshore wind expertise.

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Professor Feargal Brennan, head of the Offshore Engineering Institute at Strathclyde and the Supergen ORE Offshore Wind ‘Champion’, said: “Strathclyde is involved in four of the ten projects funded in this competition, which is a real demonstration of the research intensity concerned with Offshore Renewable Energy at the University.

“It is particularly encouraging to see the success is spread across the Engineering Faculty involving Mechanical Engineering, Naval Architecture, Offshore & Marine Engineering and Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

“The new Strathclyde projects significantly strengthen the Supergen ORE activity through their multidisciplinary nature and innovative thinking.”

Established in July 2018 with £5m funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the hub was awarded  an additional £4m in June 2019. It acts as a conduit for connecting stakeholders, inspiring innovation and maximising societal value in offshore renewable energy.

The hub is headed up 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 Strathclyde and other universities including Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Manchester and Oxford.

Greaves said: “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: “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.”

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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