Wind turbines at sunset

Energy

The Energy Research Group within the Engineering Department is the focal point for energy-related research, which includes the Renewable Energy Group (LUREG).

Group Leader

George Aggidis

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

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

Group Members

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Research Activity

We are concerned with the technological, environmental, economic and social impacts of energy technologies.

The group is engaged with a wide range of cutting-edge fundamental and applied research activities in sustainable energy utilisation, including renewable energy technologies. The group undertakes research in a number of core areas of both mainstream and renewable energy technologies, specifically in Bioenergy Utilisation, Combustion and Fuels, Electricity System, Hydro Power and Fluid Machinery, Wave and Tidal Energy, Wind Energy and other cleaner energy utilisation technologies.

The Renewable Energy Group (LUREG), carries out research into conversion of energy from natural sources, including waves, tides, wind and land-based hydropower. Aspects of renewable energy production such as system condition monitoring and economics also form strong research themes.

Waves, wind, tides and hydro are plentiful sources of energy globally, and more especially for the UK, which is surrounded by the sea and benefits from generous wind and rainfall. Off the west coasts of the British Isles, there is a vigorous climate of sea waves. Tidal variations in sites such as the Severn Estuary are among the highest in the world.

Wave and tidal power devices are by their nature almost entirely submerged beneath the water surface. Consequently, they are almost invisible and do not suffer the opposition that is often aroused by wind-turbine installations, for example. A second bonus is that, for given power output, water-based devices are generally smaller than those based on wind or other sources, because water is 800 times denser than air.

Current research projects in the group are funded from a variety of sources, including research council, regional development, European Union, industrial and individual sources, and range from single projects conceived and developed within the department to multi-million multi-institutional national-scale projects.

We encourage enquiries from individuals to institutes to make use of our excellent facilities and expertise in the field of renewable energy. Whether it's proof of concept testing or more in-depth model validation, LUREG welcomes the opportunity to work with external researchers and developers of renewable energy devices.

Energy Lancaster

The Engineering Energy research group and LUREG also feed into the Energy Lancaster multi-disciplinary research centre. Energy Lancaster brings together Lancaster University's world-leading expertise in a wide range of energy-related areas covering demand, supply and storage, as well as their environmental and societal impacts.

Renewable Energy Group (LUREG)

Lancaster University Renewable Energy Group (LUREG), based in the Department of Engineering, carries out research into conversion of energy from natural sources, including waves, tides, wind and all associated fluid machinery.

Wave Energy

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.

Tidal Energy

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 principles of generating electricity from tidal streams. LUREG is also involved with numerous regional tidal barrage proposals.

Hydro Power

Work is in progress on the exploitation of hydropower 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.

Fluid Machinery

Devices that transfer energy between a fluid system and a mechanical system are called Fluid Machines or Turbomachines. For example, the centrifugal pump continues 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.

Tidal Stream

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.

Wind Energy

Wind power, as an alternative to burning fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, and uses little land.

Projects

Smart condition monitoring and control for smart grids
01/07/2018 → 31/12/2019
Research

Development of the Waves2Watts Wave Energy Converter
02/10/2017 → 05/10/2020
Research

Aerodynamic design of commercial wind turbines based on unsteady Navier-Stokes computational fluid dynamics
18/09/2017 → 28/12/2018
Research

High-resolution SCADA collection for effective condition monitoring of wind turbines
01/07/2017 → 30/09/2018
Research

Hyperspectral imaging of neutrons with a Compton Camera and Coded aperture
02/11/2015 → 02/05/2019
Research

Three-dimensional unsteady aerodynamics and aeroelasticity of wind turbine rotors based on the COSA time-domain and harmonic balance Navier-Stokes code. from
07/04/2015 → 26/06/2015
Other

Reducing the runtime and improving the ease-of-use and portability of the COSA 3D harmonic balance Navier-Stokes solver for open rotor unsteady aerodynamics
19/01/2015 → 18/01/2016
Other

Data-driven model-based approaches to condition monitoring and improving power output of wind turbines
01/01/2015 → 31/12/2017
Research

Detection of Waterborne Tritium
06/10/2014 → 06/10/2017
Other

The Development of a Semiconductor based Hybrid Pixelated Multi-modal Spectroscopic Gamma and Neutron Radiation Detector
06/10/2014 → 06/10/2020
Other

University collaboration improves Mimic condition monitoring
01/07/2014 → 30/06/2015
Research

CFD-based assessment of hydrokinetic and wind turbine power production in real flow conditions
01/05/2014 → 28/02/2015
Other

UK Consortium on Turbulent Reacting Flows (UKCTRF)
08/01/2014 → 07/01/2019
Research

FST-LU: Environmentally friendly technology for polycarbonate production from waste
01/01/2014 → 31/12/2014
Research

Recovery of metal value from end of life PEMFC
22/10/2013 → 21/01/2015
Research

Clean Energy Utilisation from Biogas and Biomass Gasification
21/10/2013 → 31/08/2017
Research

FST CASE Studentship: Design and testin of a Novel Neutron Meter
01/04/2013 → 30/09/2016
Research

FST CASE Studentship: AFC Energy
01/01/2013 → 31/12/2016
Research

Intelligent Communication Management and Control Architecture for Smart Grid (Fully Funded Studentship)
01/10/2012 → 31/03/2016
Other

Energy Management Methods for Scalable Smart Grid (Fully Funded Studentship)
01/08/2012 → 31/01/2016
Other

Intelligent and integrated condition monitoring of distributed generation systems
16/01/2012 → 15/05/2013
Research

Variable-fidelity robust aerodynamic design of wind turbine rotors
01/09/2011 → 31/03/2015
Research

Variable Selection for Wind Turbine Condition Monitoring and Fault Detection System
01/10/2010 → 30/09/2014
Research

The Development of Nanoporous Metal Membranes for Nalytical Seperation Processes
01/10/2009 → 31/03/2011
Other