GE, Sheffield Uni join Catapult’s turbine powertrains project

The Powertrain Research Hub will support the development of future technologies for larger turbines and research solutions for improving reliability and performance

Festival Net Zero 2021

The University of Sheffield and General Electric (GE) have joined the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s new research hub focusing on offshore wind turbine powertrains.

The Powertrain Research Hub (PTRH) will support the development of future technologies for larger turbines and research solutions for improving turbine reliability, availability and performance.

The university, which has expertise in the fields of electrical machines, power electronics, controls and energy conversion and storage, will contribute a minimum of £1.7 million over five years towards the development of next generation turbines.

GE Renewable Energy will provide £500,000 over a four-year programme supporting several research projects, including a focus on minimising human interventions throughout the life of the wind turbine.

The company recently signed a five-year collaboration with ORE Catapult to advance next generation turbine technologies, including the Haliade-X 12MW, claimed to be the most powerful turbine to data.

Paul McKeever, ORE Catapult’s Head of Strategic Research said: “With industry moving towards larger wind turbines, we have an opportunity to significantly contribute to reducing the cost of turbine technology. It is essential to maximise this opportunity in a number of key areas including the challenge of improving powertrain component reliability and availability.

“By developing the next generation of powertrain components and improving their lifespan, we can significantly reduce the related operations and maintenance costs and subsequently minimise the number of human interventions for potentially dangerous turbine repair work at sea.”

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