Strathclyde University to explore corrosion of tidal turbines

Illustration (Image: Strathclyde University)

The University of Strathclyde has been awarded £1.1 million to study erosion and corrosion of tidal and wind turbines as part of the SPIRE 2 project.

A Strathclyde team, led by Professor Margaret Stack, in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, comprising Prof Bill Leithead, Prof Andy Heyes and Cameron Johnstone, will use the funding to recruit five PhD researchers to study erosion and corrosion of wind and tidal turbines, according to the University of Strathclyde.

The research is part of the €6.7 million cross-border SPIRE 2 project, led by Ulster University, with the aim of developing a range of consumer-owned energy storage devices to help meet current and future electricity market needs.

Stack said: “Wear, erosion and corrosion of materials and surface coatings can limit the performance of renewable energy devices and ultimately energy efficiency. The research findings from this project will provide a roadmap of performance based on laboratory simulation of materials degradation from experimental testing and computational modelling which will inform energy storage models as part of the overall SPIRE 2 project.”

Neil Hewitt, Professor at Ulster University, said: “Within SPIRE 2, the role of Strathclyde in understanding of long term weather-related impacts on the performance of wind and marine renewable energy systems is very important.

“Information on the degradation in performance over time will provide a sound technical and economic basis for energy storage sizing, both for newly-installed systems and existing systems having to operate in different market structures.

“The project will create 17 PhD studentships and will further develop six post-doctoral researchers. By creating this supply of highly-educated developers, able to transform research ideas into commercial reality, SPIRE 2 will also contribute to local economic growth. These positions are now open to applicants and offer an opportunity to be involved in strategically significant global energy research.”

It is expected that SPIRE 2 will generate at least eight intellectual property disclosures in areas ranging from thermochemical material storage to heat pump design and ways to prevent biofouling, Ulster University informed.

The project is funded by the EU’s Interreg VA programme, with the match-funding provided by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland.