An innovative wave energy device being developed by AWS Ocean Energy and engineers at the University has received a £350,000 boost from the Technology Strategy Board.
The funding will support the development of the AWS-III, a ring-shaped, wave power system that floats on the surface of water and generates continuous power.
The device has undergone almost two years of intensive research and development, including trials on Loch Ness. It will now undergo further, advanced testing at the Loch and in controlled conditions at the University's Centre for Hydrodynamics - the largest university facilities of their kind in the UK - before a full-scale version is deployed.
The project is one of the first being awarded following the launch of the University-based Strathclyde Marine Institute in May. The Institute aims to contribute to the UK's marine economy by providing industry and government with cutting-edge research into marine energy, transport and the environment.
Dr Sandy Day, Reader in the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, said: "We are extremely pleased to be working with AWS to help test and research their innovative technology. The funding from the Technology Strategy Board reflects wave energy's huge potential to drive down carbon emissions and supply cleaner, greener power to the UK's homes and businesses.
"Strathclyde is committed to working closely with partners in business and industry to find solutions to the challenges of the 21st Century - including developing new energy systems. We look forward to working with AWS on this exciting project."
The funding from the Technology Strategy Board is part of a £7 million support package being awarded to projects with the twin aims of driving down the cost of energy while improving the reliability and performance of marine and tidal stream energy devices.
The funding follows support given to AWS earlier this month by the Scottish Government's WATERS (Wave and Tidal Energy: Research, Development and Demonstration Support) programme.
Simon Grey, Chief Executive of the AWS Ocean Energy, said: "This latest funding is very welcome as we continue to develop our AWS-III wave energy device. Our application for funding was approved after careful scrutiny by the Technology Strategy Board, and so it is another positive statement about our R&D work to date.
"Our trials on Loch Ness will restart in September for a six week period and thereafter a detailed assessment of the trial results will be undertaken before we start building and then deploy a full-scale version of one of the wave absorption cells."
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy board, said: "By 2050 we are going to have very different energy needs than we have today and we will be getting our energy from different sources. The UK is well placed to exploit wave and tidal stream energy resources with all of the coastline that we have, and it is expected this kind of technology will be an important part of the renewable energy mix needed in the future.
"We will need to prove which technological solutions will most successfully harness marine energy and we need to reduce the cost of the energy produced to make the technology competitive with other renewable energy solutions. So there are a range of technological challenges to address."
29 July 2010