A New Partnership in Offshore Wind

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Abstract

The opening of Siemens new £310m offshore wind (OSW) turbine blade factory in Hull is a milestone for the industry. It coincides with increased investment in operations and maintenance activities to service the increasing capacity of OSW farms, especially by the world's largest OSW developer, DONG Energy. This proposal brings together these two major players with world-leading academic researchers in a £7.64m, 5-year programme. Focussing on TRL1-3 it will address the fundamental research problems that will help to reduce the Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCoE) from OSW and to support UK supply chain growth. The £3.83m requested from EPSRC unlocks £2.50m investment by the industrial players in lower TRL activity that they would not otherwise fund to this level. A further £1.31m is invested by the academic partners.

Planned Impact

The programme ultimately enables more affordable and efficient technology to facilitate growth of offshore wind power (OSW) to meet energy needs worldwide. It provides growth in the UK OSW supply chain, meeting the national needs of growth in the low-carbon economy, achieving UK CO2 emissions-targets and ensuring resilient low-cost energy. Key beneficiaries include:

1. The UK OSW industry will obtain solutions to key issues impeding the further development of OSW technology - this will allow participants to forge ahead in a rapidly growing, high-demand global sector, developing new products and improve the efficiency and durability of existing technology. They will also benefit from an influx of specialists with a skill set tailored to their specific needs.
2. The British Government and the environment will benefit from resilient and affordable solutions to meet their international obligations for reductions in CO2 emissions.
3. The public will benefit from lower prices for sustainable electricity.
4. Academic research benefits from the dissemination of this internationally leading low-TRL research in high-impact journals and conferences.
5. Young people and under-represented groups will be attracted into engineering and innovation.

Leadership of the programme by the UK's major OSW companies (Siemens and DONG Energy) drives the primary pathway to impact: innovation and growth in the UK OSW supply chain to meet the national needs of low-carbon economic growth, CO2 emissions-targets and resilient low-cost energy. This new industrial and university collaboration is built upon well-established individual partnerships thereby de-risking the translation to industry.

One of the barriers to achieving the required cost reduction in the OSW industry is the presence of disconnects in the delivery chain between the turbine OEM and the wind farm developer/operator. For the first time in the UK, Siemens and DONG Energy will jointly participate in a fundamental research programme to co-create and co-influence sector wide roadmaps. In addition, Siemens and DONG Energy will drive the progression through the TRLs and improve links into the existing mechanisms for supporting early stage ideas in this sector aided by the collaboration with the EPSRC Supergen Wind Hub and ORE Catapult.

Direct impact through the industrial partners includes new generator designs for the next generation of even larger wind turbines at lower capital cost, structural health monitoring for reduced O&M costs, novel designs of blades and foundations.

Creation of a new collaboration between the Universities of Durham, Hull and Sheffield accelerate academic impact for this challenge and the transfer of leading research capabilities into related fields: equipment design, condition monitoring, structural health monitoring, and blade manufacturing and instrumentation.
 
Description Powertrain Research Hub, Research Collaboration
Amount £699,269 (GBP)
Funding ID Call Ref. ORE/18/20 
Organisation ORE Catapult 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 02/2024
 
Description Attended International Conference on Electrical Machines (ICEM2018), 3-5 Sept. 2018, Alexandroupolis, Greece. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Attended the conference, communicated with global researchers on various topics particularly associated with wind power generation, and presented 6 papers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description First Project Annual Meeting and Meeting of the Advisory Board 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact In October 2018 The University of Sheffield hosted the first annual meeting of the project to which we invited members of our Advisory Board, members of our Management Board, all the academic supervisors from the three universities, and all the PDRAs and PhD students who had been appointed. Over forty members of the project were present on the first day to hear about the nature of the research being undertaken in the four work packages and to hear from the Work Package Leaders on progress that has been made in the first twelve months.
On the second day we held meetings of both the Management and Advisory Boards. These were followed by a feedback and discussion session to allow the key project stakeholders to hear the thoughts, recommendations and advice of the Advisory Board as part of their remit to help improve the relevance and efficacy of the research being conducted.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description IFAC Safeprocess Conference, Warsaw, August 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Yanhua Liu gave a presentation of the work (Y Liu and R J Patton) "Fault-tolerant Individual Pitch Control using Adaptive Sliding Mode Observer" at an invited special session about "Fault tolerant control of wind turbines". The session, organised by Prof. Ron Patton and Dr Silvio Simani (University of Ferrara) provided an excellent forum for discussion with other researchers working on this subject. The other sessions presenters are world experts in the is subject.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/138614/7/Fault%20tolerant%20individual%20pitch%20control%20using%20ad...
 
Description Invited talk and lecture to Los Alamos National Laboratories Engineering School, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Invited lecture to the prestigious Los Alamos National Laboratories Engineering Summer/Training School. It is one of the top Engineering Schools in the USA with top undergraduate students across US academia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk at Columbia University, New York, USA, for Dr Nikolaos Dervilis and Professor Keith Worden. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A series of invited talks from Columbia University as part of a technical seminar to establish collaboration and common research activities. This specific talk was about offshore wind turbine performance monitoring, and about how the use of offshore wind farms has been growing in recent years in the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk, ETH University, Zurich, Swizerland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentations and extensive research discussion around the subject of offshore wind energy and the use of advanced machine learning tools in the sector.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Project web site 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A dedicated project web site to raise awareness of the project to the general public and the research community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.npow.group.shef.ac.uk
 
Description SUPERGEN Wind General Assembly, Dundee, November 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Yanhua Liu provided a poster (Supervisors R J Patton and J M Gilbert) "Wind Turbine Structural Load Reduction with Pitch Sensor Fault Compensation".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.supergen-wind.org.uk/research/nov2018generalassembly
 
Description Siemens-Gamesa Renewable Energy Technical Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our 3rd Technical Workshop event, over 2 days, allowed all the PhD students and PDRAs working in the EMD Research Group at the University of Sheffield the opportunity to present their research to an audience of SGRE engineers from Brande, Keele and Sheffield. The constructive feedback and advice we received is ensuring that the work remains fully aligned to industry priorities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Siemens-Gamesa Renewable Energy Technical Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We continued with our 6-monthly programme of presentations by the PhD students and PDRAs working on the project. Each was asked to give an update on their work taking account of the feedback they had received from the first event in January. Their progress, the scope of their work and their plans for future research were all assessed against the requirements of our industrial partners. Attended by engineers/managers from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Keele UK, and Brande Denmark.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Siemens-gamesa Renewable Energy Technical Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Overview the global research activities associated with the project (literature review) and make plans for the research topics, scopes, and major directions. Attended by Engineers/managers from Siemens-Gamesa Renewable Energy, Keele, UK, and Brande, Denmark.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Siemens-gamesa Renewable Energy Technical Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Brainstorming session on research topics for Direct-Drive Wind Power Generators, 21 Nov. 2017, attended by Engineers/managers from Siemens-Gamesa Renewable Energy, Brande, Denmark.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Siemens-gamesa Renewable Energy Technical Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Brainstorming session on research topics for converter topologies for Wind Turbine Generators, 10 Oct. 2017, attended by Engineers/managers from Siemens-Gamesa Renewable Energy, Keele, UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description UKACC Control Conference, Sheffield, September 2018, 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Yanhua Liu gave a presentation (Y Liu and R J Patton) "Wind Turbine Load Mitigation using MPC with Gaussian Wind Speed Prediction" is a session "Energy and Power Systems" at this conference. The session provided an excellent forum for discussion with other researchers working on Power and Energy Systems in a wider context.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8516882
 
Description Visit to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy facilities at Keele University. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Six PhD students, four Academic supervisors and one colleague for our industry sponsor made a visit to see the laboratories and facilities that Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy have at Keele University. They were given: and introduction to SGRE (global company), an Introduction to Keele & Glasgow, a presentation on "The Wind Industry, Status, Prospects and Main Technical Issues", an explanation of active development projects, an introduction to research work ongoing (outside of Sheffield), a description of Graduate experiences and a tour of laboratories.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Z.Q. Zhu, "A new partnership in off-shore wind," Keynote speech at SUPERGEN Wind General Assembly, Manchester, 16 Nov., 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Professor Z.Q. Zhu was invited to give an over-view on the project "A new partnership in off-shore wind", as a keynote speech at SUPERGEN Wind General Assembly, Manchester, 16 Nov., 2017, which was attended by approximately 60 members including researchers form the universities and engineers and managers from the industries..
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Z.Q. Zhu, "High efficiency and power density wind power generator systems with increased reliability and lower cost", Royal Academy of Engineering Research Forum, Invited Poster presentation, 20 November 2018, London. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Z.Q. Zhu gave an invited poster presentation entitled "High efficiency and power density wind power generator systems with increased reliability and lower cost" at Royal Academy of Engineering Research Forum, 20 November 2018, London. There were >100 participants, including Fellows of Royal Academy of Engineering, Research Chairs, Research Fellows. It sparked many questions and discussion afterwards, followed by a research seminar on 6 December 2018 at the University of Sheffield on "Fully superconducting machines for future electric aircraft" given by Dr Min Zhang, RAE Research Fellow, from Strathclyde University, as arranged by Professor Steve Williamson, Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering. Future co-operation on superconducting machines for wind power application between Sheffield and Strathclyde was discussed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018