Wind Energy Technologies

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Engineering and Computing Sciences


This is a Consortium of 8 Universities and 1 Research Laboratory with expertise in wind turbine design, location & operation, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, materials, electrical machinery, control, reliability and condition monitoring. The Consortium has the active support of 9 Partners with Industrial and Research experience, including wind farm Operators, Manufacturers & Consultants. The Consortium's objective is to investigate Wind Energy Technologies.The Management Hub is Strathclyde University, the Finance Hub is Durham University.The challenge facing the Consortium is significant encompassing the search for engineering solutions:1. To improve the efficiency and reliability of wind energy.2. To reduce the cost of energy production.3. To facilitate the siting of machines in off-shore locations.4. To reduce the impact on existing infrastructure.The interdependences of the challenges and the interdisciplinary nature of the work call for flexibility, imagination and careful co-ordination of effort from the consortium that includes experts in all the relevant engineering disciplines.We believe that the Consortium offers a unique opportunity in wind energy research. The EU Framework VI programme addresses renewable energy but concentrates on the demonstration of technology. In contrast, the Consortium will focus sharply on the technological challenges, particularly those related to the exploitation of the UK's extensive offshore wind resource. The Consortium will undertake some truly interdisciplinary research that is essential in a technology comprised of many different branches of engineering. The overall objective is to improve the acceptability and cost-effectiveness of large scale offshore wind energy development by 1. Investigating the reliability and availability of wind turbines and to modelling their failure modes in order to develop a predictive and proactive condition monitoring system.2. Assessing the potential design limits of large wind turbines via detailed understanding of technical developments in innovative materials and active load reduction.3. Developing new/improved methods for optimised siting and design of large wind turbines as influenced by wind flow, seabed movement, lightning and radar visibility.


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