ORE Catapult seeks university partner for £1.4m project

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has launched a project to accelerate offshore turbine powertrain research and development activities.

The catapult is seeking to collaborate with UK-based universities to work with on the project. The new Powertrain Research Hub (PTRH) will attract a five-year investment of around £700,000 from ORE Catapult and will be leveraged with match-funding as a minimum from the university applicants. The hub will focus on addressing the following key research topics and themes:

  • Reliability improvement and advanced test methodologies.
  • Advanced health condition monitoring and prognostic technologies.
  • Development of next generation powertrain components for larger sized wind turbines.

The aim of the PTRH will be to provide future technologies for larger turbines and to research solutions for improving turbine reliability and availability, with a particular focus on minimising human interventions throughout the life of the wind turbine. By collaborating with leading academic expertise in this field, the PTRH will build a stronger complementary offering of research, innovation, demonstration and representative testing for the offshore renewables sector.

ORE Catapult is seeking submissions from universities interested in the joining the PTRH, which will help deliver the Catapult’s current and future powertrain research programme. The Catapult has a strong track record in powertrain testing, research and development and recently signed a five-year collaboration agreement with GE Renewable Energy to advance next generation turbine technologies, including the Haliade-X, the most powerful wind turbine in the world to date.

Paul McKeever, ORE Catapult’s head of strategic research, said: “With industry moving towards larger wind turbines, we have an opportunity to significantly contribute to reducing the cost of turbine technology. It is essential to maximise this opportunity by also tackling the challenge of improving powertrain component reliability and availability. By developing the next generation of powertrain components, and improving their lifespan, we can significantly reduce the related operations and maintenance costs and subsequently minimise the number of human interventions for potentially dangerous turbine repair work at sea.”

To download the guidance and application documents visit the ORE Catapult’s website.

The deadline for application submissions will be 25 October 2018. 

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