Solar panels

Renewables

Theme Leader

Energy Lancaster, Physical and Analytical Chemistry

+44 (0)1524 592860

Our research focuses on four key sources of renewable energy - water, wind, solar energy, and bioenergy.

Our skills include technical concept evaluation, materials development and characterisation, device modelling, scale testing, control optimization, condition monitoring and design assessment.

A hydroelectric dam

Water Energy

Wave Energy

We have a long track record of research into extracting power from waves and have developed a wide range of devices, from inception to scaled testing in our excellent wave tank facilities. We are currently investigating the potential of multi-axis wave energy converters that could improve power capture for a new generation of devices.

Tidal Energy

Our research focuses on devices for tidal stream energy generation. One of our latest projects is investigating multi-element high-lift devices. These will offer significantly improved operational performance, augmenting the overall energy yield in both spring and neap tidal cycles. We are also involved with a number of regional tidal barrage proposals.

Hydro Power

Hydropower turbines produce one-fifth of the entire world's electricity. Our research focuses on exploiting hydropower by converting water pressure into air pressure. This allows the use of much smaller, less expensive and faster turbines running in the air, 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.

A wind turbine

Wind Energy

Our research ranges from wind turbine multi-disciplinary design to advanced aerodynamic analyses through the deployment of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) technologies based on high-performance computing (HPC).

We develop and use numerical technologies for the analysis and design of horizontal and vertical axis turbines, or more recently, oscillating wing hydrokinetic turbines.

We also develop condition monitoring techniques for the reliable operation of wind farms including the grid connections, working with industry partners including TNEI, Wind Prospect, ALSTOM power and major wind turbine manufacturers in China.

Solar panels

Solar Energy

We carry out fundamental research on the development of low-cost high-efficiency solar cells and solar thermal applications. For example, enhanced light harvesting structures for improved photoexcitation in silicon solar cells, and photon management techniques for better sunlight capture and concentration.

Lancaster is also world-leading in quantum dot research and this is currently being exploited to investigate materials and devices for solar and waste heat electricity and direct solar hydrogen production.

Industrial partners include:

  • U2T Photonics
  • Kittiwake Procal
  • Alcatel Thales
  • QinetiQ
  • Wafer Technology
  • Pilkington
  • NPower
  • Tata Steel
  • IQE semiconductors
Wheat growing in a field

Bioenergy

Our biomass research focuses on a better understanding of fuel variability and the utilisation of renewable biogas and biosyngas. The research emphasis lies in their long-term compatibility with existing combustion systems. The research looks at the kinetic and species transport using national supercomputer facilities supported by EPSRC via the SUPERGEN Bioenergy Challenge programme and the EPSRC UK Consortium on Turbulent Reacting Flows (UKCTRF).

Water treatment works

Knowledge Transfer Partnership with United Utilities Water

We work with United Utilities Water (UU), part of United Utilities Group PLC, through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership to investigate BIOSORBENT, a novel microbial method for the removal of waste from sewage, which uses less energy than existing activated sludge treatments.

Theme Members

Energy, Energy Lancaster, Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre

+44 (0)1524 593052 C08, C - Floor, Engineering Building

Dr Sergio Campobasso

Senior Lecturer

Energy

+44 (0)1524 594673

Centre for Biophotonics, Centre for Global Eco-innovation , Energy Lancaster, Quantum Nanotechnology, Quantum Technology Centre

+44 (0)1524 593651 A033, A - Floor, Physics Building

Dr Xiandong Ma

Senior Lecturer,

DSI - Foundations, Energy, Energy Lancaster

+44 (0)1524 593700 Engineering Building