Led by: Dr Alasdair McDonald, University of Strathclyde, and Professor Li Ran, Chongqing University EPSRC funding: £799,386
The project aims to advance the use of virtual prototyping in the design and optimisation of ORE Power Takeoff (PTO) systems.
Advances in virtual prototyping, which involves the use of numerical, analytical and empirical models to create and validate designs before the creation of physical prototypes, can reduce the risks to offshore development through evaluation of difference performance metrics and interactions between separate system aspects. It can also address operating challenges such as availability by revealing stress characteristics and confirming the effectiveness of operational management strategies.
Dr Alasdair McDonald is a senior lecturer at the EPSRC Wind and Marine Energy Systems Centre for Doctoral Training based in the Wind Energy and Control Centre, Institute for Energy and Environment, Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde. His research interests are centred on electrical generators and their application to renewable energy, especially wind turbine powertrains.
He studied Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Durham in 2004 and completed a PhD at the Institute of Energy Systems at the School of Engineering & Electronics at the University of Edinburgh in 2008. Subsequently Alasdair worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Edinburgh on a number of projects on direct-drive generators for wind and marine energy. In 2009, he co-founded the spin-out company NGenTec to commercialise their research of a novel air-cored generator for wind. Dr McDonald was Chief Engineer at the company in 2010-2012, during which time the company designed, built and tested a 1MW demonstrator. Alasdair has worked as a consultant on the design of permanent magnet generators for direct-drive wind turbines.
His research interests include:
• Wind turbine powertrain design and modelling for low cost of energy
• Design of electrical generators, especially low speed, permanent magnet machines for renewables.
• Structural analysis and optimisation of direct drive generators
• Reliability engineering of wind turbines with a focus on offshore wind turbine powertrains
• Condition monitoring and remaining useful life predictions of wind turbine powertrains
• The use of parallel and modular powertrains to increase availability
At Strathclyde he is course director for the MSc in Wind Energy Systems and Training Manager for the EPSRC Wind and Marine Energy Systems Centre for Doctoral Training. He is PI of the UK-China MOD-CORE project.
Prof. Markus Mueller holds the Chair in Electrical Machines at the University of Edinburgh. He is the UK’s leading researcher in direct-drive linear wave energy generators. Previous projects include Supergen Marine Phase 2, WP 5 leader Power Take Off and Conditioning (35 papers were published from this work) and SNAPPER design and system modelling of a novel linear generator for wave energy, which won an Engineer Magazine Innovation Award in 2012. He is PI on the EPSRC All Electrical Drive Train for Marine Energy Converters (EDRIVE-MEC) project, EP/N021452/1.
The design of novel generator topologies for direct drive wave energy, wind energy and tidal current energy converters is his main area of research. The influence of the electrical design on the mechanical design and vice versa forms the main thrust of my research into low speed electrical machines. In order to generate the optimum machine design such an integrated approach must be adopted. His specialities include:
• Direct Drive Wave, Wind & Tidal Energy Systems
• Design and modelling of electrical machines
• Electrical machines for renewable energy applications
• Low speed electrical generators for wave, wind and tidal energy converters
• Actuators for solar powered pumps
• Permanent magnet and switched reluctance machines
Prof. Phil Mawby is the Chair of Power Electronic, Applications and Technology in Energy Research. He joined the University of Warwick having spent 19 years at the University of Wales, Swansea. He has built an international reputation in the area of power electronics and power device research.
His main interests are materials for new power devices, modelling of power devices and circuits, power integrated circuits. He has also worked extensively on development of device simulation algorithms, as well as optoelectronic and quantum based device structures.
Professor Mawby graduated from the University of Leeds, and obtained his PhD from the same institution in 1986, where he studied GaAs/AlGaAs Heterojunction bipolar transistors for high power radio frequency applications in conjunction co-workers at the GEC Hirst Research Centre in Wembley.
Whilst in Swansea Professor Mawby established the Power Electronics Design Centre, which carried work out in a whole range of areas relating to power electronics. The centre focussed on interaction with SME's in Wales as well as larger international companies. Whilst he was in Swansea he held the Royal Academy of Engineering Chair for Pwer Electronics.
Professor Mawby is on many international conference committees including, ISPSD, EPE, BCTM and ESSDERC. He is Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the IET, and a Fellow of the Institute Physics as well as a Senior Member of the IEEE. He has published over 70 Journal papers and 100 conference papers, and is a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Electron devices society.
Prof. Richard McMahon is Professor of Power Electronics in the Warwick Manufacturing Group. Richard McMahon's research interests are focused on power electronics, especially using wide band-gap devices, and their application in automotive, energy storage, power distribution and renewable generation (wind and wave power) applications.
Complementary interests in achieving system level solutions include electrical machines and thermal modelling. In addition, he has broad interests in energy use and energy policy.
Professor McMahon was previously a Senior Lecturer at the Engineering Department at Cambridge University. He gained both his undergraduate degree and PhD in Engineering from Cambridge University. Following a number of post-doctoral positions, latterly in the Department of Physics in Cambridge, he returned to a Lectureship in Engineering. He is a Life Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and is a Guest Professor at North China Electric Power University.
Professor McMahon is an Associate Editor of two IET journals (Power Electronics and Renewable Power Generation) and is on the Organizing Committee of IET's PEMD (Power Electronics Machines and Drives Conference). Professor McMahon has published over 240 papers and is named as an inventor on 19 patents (granted or applied for). He received a UK Energy Innovation Award in 2015 for Best University Technology (with HTIP Limited). He has given invited technical and public lectures and has supervised, or is supervising, 36 doctoral students and 23 Masters students.
Dr Jonathan Shek is a Chancellor’s Fellow in the Institute for Energy Systems at the University of Edinburgh. His research area is in power conversion and control in renewable energy devices, having worked on the number of projects in this area including Off-Grid Hybrid Power Systems, Control of Direct Drive Generators for Wave Energy, and HVDC Transformers for Offshore Renewables.
Dr Shek was PI on EP/M020231/1, a Newton Fund project with China that investigated the Integration of Energy Storage in Wave Energy Arrays for Off-grid and On-grid connection. He is PI on EP/N035593/1, a project on mitigating Torque Pulsations in Tidal Current Turbines and EP/P51147X/1, an Innovate UK project on power conversion for self-starting, active-pitch, vertical-axis wind turbines.
His specialities include:
• Control of linear electrical generators for direct drive wave energy converters
• Power conversion and control for lightweight PM generators for wind turbines
• Fault tolerant control of power take-off systems for marine energy devices
Dr Paul Lepper is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Loughborough. He specialises in the general field of underwater acoustics, bioacoustics and underwater technologies, including acoustic and optical underwater systems, sound field measurement and modelling, marine species hearing and acoustic impact of noise on marine fauna.
Current research topics include measurement and characterization of underwater noise sources and the assessment of noise impact on marine fauna. These topics have included work to assess the construction noise from several offshore windfarm developments, various petroleum platforms, and projects looking at noise from small leisure craft. This research has included source characterization, sound field modelling and modelling marine species exposure. He is also involved in projects to assess hearing abilities of marine mammals and the use of acoustic deterrents. Dr Lepper is also involved in the development of various systems for long term noise field assessment and passive detection of marine species and the use of various propagation models for sound field assessment.
Dr Lepper is a Member of the Institute of Acoustics (UK) and the Acoustical Society of America and life member of the Acoustical Society of India and acts a member underwater acoustics committee and events committee for the Institute of Acoustics. Various projects have been conducted in collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to assess sound fields and noise impacts for various offshore installations including windfarms and petroleum platforms.
These projects have including design and implementation of new procedures and technologies for acoustic measurements and detailed underwater acoustic field assessment during for example marine piling operations. As well the measurement in-situ radiated noise, state-of-the-art modelling techniques have been employed to assess potential acoustic zones of impact for various marine species. This includes detailed assessment of the potential noise field for a specific site (taking into account, sediment type, seabed topography etc.) and current known physiological and behavioural responses of various marine species to acoustic sources. Models were also developed to estimate cumulative sound field exposure to stationary or transiting marine species.
Li Ran obtained a PhD degree (1989) in Power Systems Engineering from Chongqing University in China for his work on reliability evaluation of the transmission networks planned for the Three-Gorges Hydro Power Plant. He then participated in the commissioning of Gezhouba-Shanghai HVDC System (1989-1990). Between 1992 and 1999, he was a postdoctoral research fellow with the Universities of Aberdeen, Nottingham and Heriot-Watt, working on marine electrical propulsion, offshore electrical systems and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) in power electronic motor drives. He became a Lecturer with the University of Northumbria at Newcastle in 1999 and moved to Durham University in 2003 where he was promoted to a Chair in 2010. He was seconded to Alstom Power Conversion at Kidsgrove (2001-2004) and worked at MIT on sabbatical (2007-2008). Li has a joint appointment with the Chongqing University and Warwick University. At Chongqing he acts as the Deputy Director for the State Key Laboratory in Power Transmission Equipment and System Security of China and at University of Warwick he is the Professor in Power Electronics - Systems. His research interests are in the applications of power electronics in renewable energy systems, electrical power grids and machine drives.