Centre for Advanced Materials for Renewable Energy Generation

Project: Research

Project Details


Renewable and low carbon energy sources need to be more competitive if the world is to meet the carbon emissions targets agreed in COP21. CAMREG brings together cutting edge materials researchers who will work across discipline boundaries to increase renewable energy technology durability, reliability, utility, performance and energy yield. The aim of the Centre is to combine activity, know-how and facilities from a wide range of existing fundamental and applied materials science capacity to address the known and emerging challenges in renewable energy generation, including on- and off-shore wind, wave, tidal, conventional and next-generation solar photovoltaics and energy storage. CAMREG will support and hasten the establishment or expansion of viable and sustainable renewable energy industries in the UK.

The proposed centre offers a wide breadth and considerable depth of materials research capability and capacity in many areas of renewable energy and is aimed at reducing the overall levelised cost of energy to the consumer. The centre addresses 4 of the suggested areas in the Call in the following 3 themes: multifunctional materials for energy applications; materials for energy conversion & storage and smart materials for energy applications. Research areas include: efficient materials for PV and energy storage; materials for increased power density in electrical generators; improved design and testing of composite blades for wind and tidal turbines; smart materials and optical coatings that detect early damage in wind blades; smart coatings to minimise erosion and corrosion on blades and offshore support towers; lighter-weight design of structural steels; large-scale structural testing of components; better materials fatigue and failure management; lower-maintenance materials with improved resistance to wear and corrosion; superconducting materials to transfer power over long distances with less losses; high temperature ceramics and molten salt for energy storage; electrically responsive artificial muscles that can morph the shapes of wind turbine blades to ensure better energy yields, materials for increased conversion efficiency and better mooring for wave and tidal devices.

CAMREG is a partnership of 3 research-intensive universities, Edinburgh, Cranfield and Strathclyde, which would gather and network the interests, capacity and networks of many of the RCUK investments in energy research and training, and accruing over 200 industry connections: through 3 SuperGen Hubs, Marine UKCMER, Wind and Power Networks; 4 EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training - Wind Energy Systems, Wind & Marine Energy Systems, Offshore Renewable Energy Marine Structures and Integrative Sensing and Measurement; the EPSRC Industrial Doctorate Centre in Offshore Renewable Energy and the DECC SLIC (Offshore Wind Structural Lifecycle) Joint Industry Project - the largest industry-funded offshore renewables related materials and structures research project worldwide, involving Certification Authorities (DNV-GL and LR) and 10 of Europe's largest energy utility companies. The Centre will also respond to the needs and experience of device developers, project planners, legislators and consenting bodies, and academic partners will continue to work closely with key UK policy stakeholders.

CAMREG underpins the efforts at existing recognised centres of renewable energy and materials science research, and encourages networking with new research groups working in complementary areas and linking centres into a coordinated national network. Expected national impacts include: environmental benefits, through increasing the potential to displace fossil fuels; economic benefit through the expansion of employment and human capacity transfer from the existing offshore energy industries; increased diversity, security and resilience of electricity supply through reduction in dependence upon imported fuel and as indigenous coal oil and gas production declines.
Effective start/end date1/12/1630/11/20


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