The Sheffield Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Research Centre (S²GRE) celebrated its 10 year anniversary at a dinner and drinks reception held at the Siemens Mindsphere Lounge in The Diamond at the University of Sheffield.  The innovative collaboration between the Electrical Machines and Drives research group from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Siemens Gamesa has developed the most reliable, innovative and efficient wind turbine generators for the global market since 2009.

The evening saw key players of the collaborative partnership share the successes of the last 10 years to an audience of The University of Sheffield academics and Siemens Gamesa colleagues.  Professor Mike Hounslow, Vice-President and Head of the Faculty of Engineering, opened the event stating: “Some of the best research we have in Engineering is here in Electrical Machines and Drives – we are doing work that Siemens Gamesa really value and which is built on tough fundamentals.”

The main focus of the S²GRE is to minimise the cost of energy from wind turbines by developing direct drive generators for the future to help meet national low-carbon energy supply targets.  Key achievements of the collaboration have been to deliver technologies that have been incorporated into wind turbine designs of S²GRE forming the key commercial success of their off-shore wind turbines.  These have consisted of off-shore direct drive permanent magnet wind power generators of 6MW, 7MW, 8MW and 10MW.

The S²GRE Research Centre is based on campus at The Kroto Innovation Centre enabling close collaboration with the Electrical Machines and Drives Group.  Steffen Poulsen, Senior Vice President of Technical Development at Siemens Gamesa said: “Combining academia and industry in this way is a real role model for others. It is not about size, it is about focus.”

Head of the Electrical Machines and Drives group, Professor Zi-Qiang Zhu agreed: “A key success of the collaboration we are celebrating tonight is that we have doubled our strength by working together and together we can make effective contributions to the S²GRE commercially successful off-shore wind generators.”

Arwyn Thomas, Head of Generator Technology Development at Siemens Gamesa said: “This collaboration is about people.  It is successful because we have a common goal and can challenge each other. One of the highlights for me is when we all get together for the annual review and we see the interaction between academics, students and engineers.”

The S²GRE Centre is now focusing on the future by developing second generation off-shore wind power generators with further improved power density and reduced cost. The Centre forms a key element of the University’s strategic collaboration with Siemens Gamesa. The broad partnership is developing innovative solutions for global challenges in renewable energy, working across disciplines as part of the University’s Energy Institute.

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