IES Research Projects

Research Projects at the Institute for Energy Systems (IES). You can search keywords within Project Titles.

We also have many Energy Systems PhD opportunities for postgraduate students looking to join the School.

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Project Title Principal Supervisor Project Summary
TROPOS: Modular Multi-use Deep Water Offshore Platform Harnessing and Servicing Mediterranean, Subtropical and Tropical Marine and Maritime Resources

Professor David Ingram

TROPOS is a European collaborative project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development, more specifically under the "Ocean of Tomorrow" call OCEAN 2011.1 – Multi-use offshore platforms. The TROPOS Project aims at developing a floating modular multi-use platform system for use in deep waters, with an initial geographic focus on the Mediterranean, Tropical and Sub-Tropical regions, but designed to be flexible enough so as to not be limited in geographic scope.


Prof David Ingram

The aim of the RealTide project is to identify main failure causes of tidal turbines at sea and to provide a step change in the design of key components, namely the blades and power take-off systems, adapting them more accurately to the complex environmental tidal conditions. Advanced monitoring systems will be integrated with these identified sub-systems and together with maintenance strategies will be implemented at outset from the design stage to achieve an increased reliability and improved performance over the full tidal turbine life.

Compliant coatings for drag reduction

Dr. Ignazio Maria Viola

The hydrodynamic performance of marine devices is crucial from the energy efficiency point of view. A well-designed drag reducing technique for ship hulls would decrease the unsustainable fossil fuel consumption and pollution, which accounts for 3% of the global carbon dioxide emission. The drag experienced by, for instance, a tidal turbine blade, also limits the extractable power from the tidal stream and, therefore, a drag reduction would increase the capacity factor of tidal turbines and decrease the cost of renewable energy. Our research aims to reduce the experienced drag with compliant coatings.

Small Scale Hydrogen Storage for Integrated Energy Systems

Dr Dimtri Mignard

The integration of a greater proportion of renewable energy, compounded by the rise in small scale distributed generation, is making it increasingly difficult to balance demand and supply of electricity without adequate energy storage facilities. However, the effective deployment of these solutions at any particular location will require an understanding of the local energy system at the time. Conversion between energy vectors will also be required not just to meet storage needs, but also to allow major shifts from fossil fuels to low carbon energy in applications like heat and transport. Hydrogen is an energy vector that is particularly versatile from this viewpoint. 

SuperGen UK Centre for Marine Energy Reseach

Prof Robin Wallace

UKCMER is the third phase of EPSRC investment in collaborative wave and tidal energy research.  Edinburgh has led all three phases since 2003. There are 13 partner universities in the Centre working together on 15 projects.  They work together to ensure joined-up regional, disciplinary and thematic effort to help meet the challenges in accelerating deployment towards and through 2020 targets

ARIES: Adaptation and Resilience in Energy Systems

Professor Gareth Harrison

The energy supply sector is undergoing massive technological changes to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the climate is progressively changing creating new challenges for energy generation, networks and demand. The Adaptation and Resilience in Energy Systems (ARIES) project aims to understand how climate change will affect the UK gas and electricity systems and in particular its 'resilience'.

WindSurf - A self-starting, active-pitch, vertical-axis wind turbine

Dr Jonathan Shek

WindSurf aims to develop a core enabling technology - active blade pitching for a vertical axis wind turbine. This will allow wind turbines to operate in challenging wind conditions, to operate quietly and for new, lower maintenance turbine designs. WindSurf will open up new sites for wind energy: sites previously rejected because wind speeds were too low, variable or subject to swirling, or where noise nuisance would have been a concern. WindSurf will tackle all three parts of the energy trilemma: reducing emissions, increasing security of supply, and reducing cost.

Electro-Mechanical Modelling of Tidal Turbines

Dr Jonathan Shek

The research in this project will focus on modelling full resource-to-wire dynamic models of tidal arrays in order to investigate and optimise their operation.  The expected impact of this study is providing industry with an understanding and guidelines of the applicability of the different electrical layouts to specific locations and size of the arrays.

Compare different generator technologies and control theories Validate models using real measured data Perform harmonic analysis and accurate loss modelling based on temperature/frequency variations Suggest cost-effective solutions for device developers
TorqTidal: Mitigating Torque Pulsations in Tidal Current Turbines

Dr Jonathan Shek

TorqTidal seeks to provide control strategies for tidal current turbines that will reduce the risk of failure and increase the lifetime of device components without increasing capital costs. This will act to increase investor confidence and drive down the LCOE, which is a key step in helping the UK to exploit its significant tidal energy resource.

PolyWEC: New mechanisms and concepts for exploiting electroactive Polymers for Wave Energy Conversion

Professor David Ingram

Wave energy has a great potential as renewable source of electricity. Studies have demonstrated that significant percentage of world electricity could be produced by Wave Energy Converters (WECs). However electricity generation from waves still lacks of spreading because the combination of harsh environment and form of energy makes the technical development of cost effective WECs particularly difficult.


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