Renewable energy technology is central to global efforts to tackle the effects of climate change and embrace a move towards a cleaner, more sustainable energy society.
The group is an international leader in wind energy and the control of wind turbines and wind farms. Current research activities examine the dynamic analysis of turbines, their modelling and simulation, control system design and their optimisation, along with resource assessment and condition monitoring issues. It also has a focus on the development of system engineering methods and practical algorithms for the control and optimisation of complex and nonlinear systems. This covers the whole cycle of control design including system analysis, modelling, real-time simulation, and implementation. In collaboration with industry partners, its control based research work is applied to power generation plant, water and environmental systems, marine systems, medical robotic systems and systems biology.
Renewable energy includes a wider spectrum of technologies, including solar photovoltaic, energy storage and electric vehicles, which this group also targets as part of its research portfolio. This has included:
- investigating the use of electric fleet buses for responsive demand;
- investigation of the potential of vehicle to grid technology with E.ON Germany; and,
- participation in 2 Innovate UK Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator projects, one with Ford, SSE and Hillingdon Borough Council, the other with Allied Vehicles, Axeon Power, ScottishPower and Glasgow City Council.
Wind Energy & Control
The group has established two specialist experimental facilities to support its research activities:
- an outdoor test facility for photovoltaics including a section of PV roof with PV tiles, and with comprehensive instrumentation including a spectroradiometer to allow investigation of the impact of solar spectral changes on the performance of PV systems
- a laboratory for the investigation of both demand side management technology and micro-generation. This includes a range of domestic appliances that can be controlled and energy storage systems. It's planned to add a range of micro-CHP systems with appropriate thermal loads when such units become available