The group has long been associated with both generic and applied research into extracting power from waves. Our recent research involvement with the SUPERGEN consortium of marine energy research institutes is but the most recent endeavour spanning 30 years of research. Our research has also involved the development of a wide range of devices, from inception to scaled testing in our excellent tank facilities. This section describes the wave-energy research currently in progress in the group.
Research is concentrating on a niche area of high-lift vertical axis tidal stream devices for tidal stream energy generation operating within a shallow resource. These devices will offer significantly lower costs during manufacture, and installation without the need for excessive infrastructure. Readers will find useful information regarding the basic priciples of generating electricty from tidal streams. LUREG is also involved with numerous regional tidal barrage proposals.
Work is in progress on the exploitation of hydro power by converting the water pressure into air pressure, which allows the use of much smaller, less-expensive turbines running in air. These turn much faster than the water turbines that would otherwise be used, so eliminating the need for a step-up gearbox to drive the generator. The system under development uses siphons, bridging the weir or barrage. The aeration of the water makes the system attractive for use in water treatment plants. Other projects include the Hydro Resource model project, which looks at the economic and technical issues of hydro sites in the N-W region.
Devices that transfer energy between a fluid system and a mechanical system are called Fluid Machines or Turbomachines. For example, the centrifugal pump continuous to be the workhorse of the oil, gas, petrochemical, utilities, power, nuclear, chemical and process industries worldwide, and hydro-power turbines produce one fifth of the entire world's electricity.
The closeness of the moon to Earth (238,857 miles), and the distance to the sun (92,955,770 miles), accounts for the moon having a tide-raising force nearly 2.5 times greater than the sun. The position of these celestial bodies results in significant variations in pulling forces causing above or below normal tidal ranges.
Our pioneering work with the NW Hydro Resource Model has been recognised internationally as a multi-level descion-support modelling tool for the development of energy projects. This model integrates disciplines in a way that supports the devleopment of energy schemes.Learn more
Wind power, as an alternative to burningfossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, and uses little land.