IES Seminar Series - Dr Anup Nambiar & Dr Brian Sellar


Hudson Beare Building, Lecture Theatre 2


Friday, April 20, 2018 - 13:00 to 14:00

Presenters: Dr Anup Nambair and Dr Brian Sellar

Title: From the Ocean to the Test-Tank: Multi-project Tidal Energy Research at the Institute for Energy Systems


Tidal stream power is a highly energy-dense, predictable and reliable power source and has the potential to be a major contributor to the global energy markets. The first arrays of tidal stream turbines (TSTs) are currently being installed and commissioned. For these arrays to be viable, TSTs will need to survive large steady and unsteady hydrodynamic loads over their lifetime, including those imparted by high flow velocities, turbulence, waves and shear flow. These complex velocity fields affect energy yield and contribute to both fatigue and extreme loading on TST devices.

Improved understanding of the dynamics of tidal currents and oceanic waves, and their complex interaction, is a prerequisite for an economically viable tidal energy industry. Having captured and characterised real tidal channel conditions, scale model testing of TSTs under these representative conditions can provide a better understanding of the loads on the turbine system and its structure. This subsequently contributes to lowering the cost of energy production.

The Institute for Energy Systems (IES) has been at the forefront of tidal energy research spanning the entire range of activities from flow characterisation at real sites to the integration of marine renewables on the electricity network. Brian Sellar and Anup Nambiar of the IES will give an overview of part of that journey: from capturing ocean conditions to their replication in the test-tank, and including the response of installed scale tidal turbine models.


Anup Nambiar is a sustainability enthusiast specialising in the control and integration of renewable power generation in the electrical power system. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the Amrita University, Coimbatore, India, in 2007 and his Ph.D. in electrical power systems from the University of Edinburgh in 2012. Since then he has worked on a number of wave and tidal energy projects as a Research Associate within the IES. His research interests include resource-to-wire modelling and control of wave and tidal energy converter arrays, electricity network integration of renewables and rural electrification and development.

Brian Sellar completed an undergraduate degree in Physics at the University of Edinburgh before joining the School of Engineering in 2005. During his PhD studies Brian identified a gap in the ability of wave-energy device modellers to acquire real-world ocean data. With funding successfully obtained from EPSRC (EP/F062583/1) he developed multiple tank-based and ocean test-site instrumentation systems in partnership with international commercial and academic partners. His research has focused on developing instrumentation systems for the measurement of waves, currents and turbulence and the subsequent exploitation of the large and complex datasets returned. This data has been used to validate numerical simulations, to improve resource characterisation and to help industrial partners better understand their machines. When not working in MATLAB, atop 1MW tidal turbines or in the test-tank, Brian leads work packages for major industrial-academic partnerships including ReDAPT (ETI 2010-2015) and RealTide (EC H2020 2018-2020).

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