New EPSRC-funded research grant; “Heterogeneous Fibre Optic sensor Arrays to Monitor Composite Manufacture (H-FOAM).“
The University of Hull has been awarded funding for a £1.25M project on the use of fibre optic sensors to monitor the manufacture of large composite structures. The project is led by Prof James Gilbert of the Department of Engineering and also involves colleagues at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with support from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy in the UK and Denmark. The work will extend research started as part of the Prosperity Partnership project and will apply the approach to improve the quality of complex composite structures
such as wind turbine blades.
New EPSRC-funded research grant; ” Revolutionising Operational Safety and Economy for High-value Infrastructure using Population-based SHM (ROSEHIPS).”
This 5-year grant, worth £6,326,800 and led by the University of Sheffield, brings together a wide range of partners including: AMEY, Arqiva, Cellnex, COWI, Department for Infrastructure (Northern Ireland), Devon County Council, DYWIDAG Systems International, ETH Zurich, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Polytechnic University of Milan, Sengenia Ltd, Siemens Gamesa, Technical University of Denmark, Translink, University of Leuven, Vattenfall Wind Power Ltd and Xilinx.
ROSEHIPS will extend and exploit Population Based Structural Health Monitoring, developing machine learning, sensing and digital twin technology for automated inference of health for structures in operation now, and drive new standards for safer, greener structures in future. The Programme brings together the perfect team, mixing complementary skills in machine learning and advanced data analysis with expertise in new sensor systems and insight into complex infrastructure systems.
An Expert Q&A article on the work of this project appeared in The Engineering on 23 September 2022.
Continuation of collaboration between Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and the University of Sheffield.
A new research collaboration, worth £900,000, has been signed. The research began in May 2022 and will investigate further development on high power density direct drive permanent magnet generators.
New, follow-on research project “Offshore burial cable: how deep is deep enough?”
Professor Will Coombs from Durham University is the Principal Investigator on an exciting new research project worth a total of £1.4M. The project partners are Cathie Associates Limited, Global Offshore, Lloyd’s Register Group, Ørsted, The Crown Estate and Dundee University. £464,312 has been contributed by EPSRC.
This project will provide an industry usable anchor penetration model allowing the offshore wind sector to answer the key cable burial question – how deep is deep enough?
Funding of a PhD studentship associated with the Supergen Hub.
A new PhD student was registered at, and funded by, the University of Hull in September 2019. The topic of his thesis is “Wind Turbine Performance and Condition Monitoring using Distributed Sensors.”
Aura Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment. £5.5m funding from EPSRC and NERC.
The Aura CDT is led by the Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull with partner universities Durham, Newcastle and Sheffield. It integrates the core strengths of each institution in environment, engineering and energy and will work closely with over 20 international industry partners. It is unique in its cross-disciplinary engagement of engineering and environmental scientists, industry and policy makers. Recruitment has begun for 4-year PhD scholarships (providing the opportunity to develop and integrate practical examples in taught courses across the first year with industry-led and challenge-led projects, followed by three years of focused doctoral research) which will develop cutting edge research and solutions to the environmental and engineering challenges facing the offshore wind industry.
This £9m EPSRC-funded consortium provides research leadership to connect academia, industry, policy and public stakeholders, to inspire innovation and maximise societal value in offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. It will achieve that connection through a programme of events, publications, newsletters and online tools. The hub has identified a range of Research Challenges that will be a major focus of its work over the next four years. It has prioritised them based on need, impact potential, affordability, national benefit, capability, and technology status. It has also considered their importance and relevance across the ORE sectors – wind, wave, and tide – so that a whole systems approach across the variety of engineering and scientific disciplines is maintained. Ten UK Universities with expertise in wind, wave and tidal energy form the consortium: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Hull, Manchester, Warwick, Oxford, Southampton. A Post-Doctoral Research Associate has been appointed at the University of Hull starting in July 2019.
A new Hub, led by the University of Sheffield, is combining expertise in electrical machines and manufacturing for the first time, aiming to put the UK at the forefront of an electrification revolution. We are witnessing a huge global shift towards cleaner growth and more resource efficient economies with electrical machines at the heart of the move towards electric cars, planes and the use of renewable energy such as offshore wind. However, there are significant manufacturing challenges, particularly around new materials and the application of digital approaches.
The £28m investment, underpinned by a £10m award from the EPSRC, will enable researchers from the new EPSRC Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub to work with industry on addressing key manufacturing challenges, designing new electrical machines with improved performance for the aerospace, energy, automotive and premium consumer sectors. The drive to lower carbon emissions is resulting in dramatic changes in how we travel and the ways we generate and use energy worldwide. New electrical machines with improved performance – higher power density, increased efficiency and improved reliability – are being designed by researchers and industry to address the need for clean growth and the challenging demands of new applications. However, there are significant manufacturing challenges to overcome if UK industry wants the ability to manufacture these new machines at an appropriate cost and with the right levels of flexibility and quality.
With funding from the EPSRC and industrial partners including Rolls Royce, Airbus, Siemens Gamesa, GKN Aerospace, McLaren and Dyson, the team, led by the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), will work with academics at Newcastle University and the Advanced Forming Research Centre in Strathclyde to solve these issues.
“This investment brings together world-class researchers and leading manufacturing firms to help revolutionise how key industries like steel operate in the future. These developments will help us build a smarter, greener and more efficient manufacturing sector in the UK which is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy to harness the opportunities of clean growth creating more high-skilled jobs. We are determined to ensure the UK sets the global best standard for making our energy intensive industries competitive in the new clean economy.” Industry Minister, Richard Harrington.
Royal Academy of Engineering – Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Research Chair.
SGRE have provided continuing funding to support Professor Zhu’s Research Chair for a further five years from January 2019.
Powertrain Research Hub (PTRH).
May 2019 marked the beginning of a five year research collaboration project between the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the University of Sheffield. Other institutions will join the programme over the course of the project as individual research proposals are supported. The ORE Catapult is the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy. Their strategy is “to leverage our unique facilities and expertise to work in close partnership with the heavyweights of the offshore renewables industry – theOEMs and other large industrials, the developers and owner/operators – to improve existing and develop next generation renewable energy technology in the UK. In so doing, we enable and support the development of a vibrant indigenous supply chain, provide a clear route to market for innovative new companies and technologies, and direct and pull through applied research from the UK’s world-leading academic base.”
The overarching objective of the PTRH is to support and fund the research and development of future technologies for the anticipated larger turbines and to research in depth potential solutions that improve turbine reliability, availability and minimise human interventions throughout the lifecycle of the asset. Reliability considerations are a key concern for the wind industry due to the significant cost incurred because of repair and loss in operation time/power output. The powertrain represents a complex system of both power electronics and mechanical systems which must be continuously monitored. As such it will be key to develop condition monitoring systems that can provide prognostic analysis of the components of a powertrain system which include the converter, generator, bearings and gearbox.
This vision will be achieved through activity in three areas (the research technical objectives):
A. Reliability improvement and advanced test methodology development. B. Advanced health condition monitoring and prognostic technologies. C. Development of next generation powertrain components for larger sized wind turbines.
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