A New Partnership in Offshore Wind
“This (EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships) investment will ensure the work of our universities continues to have positive impact around the world and maintain the UK's global leadership in science and innovation.”
Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science
A £7.6-million programme supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to lay the technological foundations for the next generation of wind turbines and farms.
Every improvement to the technology that underpins the UK’s growing offshore wind power industry has the potential to deliver a substantial impact. By making advances in reliability, efficiency and productivity, the industry can help improve the UK’s ability to meet its clean energy challenges, and also reduce the cost of energy for the consumer.
To meet this challenge, Aura partners secured Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funding for a major five-year programme of collaborative research.
Led by the University of Sheffield, along with partner universities Hull and Durham and business partners Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and Ørsted, the programme has two central aims:
- Develop new and improved technologies for individual components such as generators, converters, blades and foundations
- Design better techniques and technologies for detecting faults, monitoring structural health and managing overall performance
Thanks to their powerful combination of academic expertise and industry know-how, Aura partners were successful in securing a total of £7.6-million to support the programme and a broad team of researchers has now taken up the challenge – bringing a creative multidisciplinary approach to their work.
Engineering experts at the University of Hull, for example, are looking at applying the lessons of bone modelling research to inform designs for more sophisticated, lighter, stronger, bio-mimetic blade structures.
By 2022, when the programme reaches its conclusion, the team looks set to have laid the foundations for the next generation of wind turbines and farms – with cost and efficiency benefits to the UK as a whole and to individual consumers across the country.