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Wind turbines at sea

A project to improve wind turbine technology that involves researchers here at Durham has been shortlisted for a global sustainability award.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Prosperity Partnership project has been shortlisted in the External Partnerships category of the World Sustainability Awards 2023.

World Sustainability Awards 2023 logo with shortlisted wordingThe £7.7 million partnership between the universities of Durham, Sheffield, and Hull and energy companies Ørsted and Siemens Gamesa has developed ways to make wind turbine generators more efficient, reliable, lighter and cheaper.

The project is shortlisted among a line-up of extremely impressive leaders, projects and organisations in this year’s awards, with winners to be announced later this year.

Collaboration at the heart

As part of the collaborative project, the team at Durham Energy Institute has developed new techniques to monitor the condition of wind turbines which will enable energy companies to predict issues and faults earlier as they develop.

The team at Durham have also developed a range of methods to monitor the health and sustainability of wind turbines. These include monitoring the health of turbine bearings by measuring the condition of their lubricating oil, developing new methods for predicting the impact of rain erosion on turbine blades and new image analysis techniques for structural health monitoring by inspection using drones.

These advancements, along with research being carried out at Sheffield and Hull universities, have also identified where the next stages of research need to be, to allow even more improvements as we gear-up for a net-zero carbon future.

A partnership for prosperity

The partnership, funded by the UKRI Prosperity Partnership programme, specifically aims to support research into real-life issues identified by industrial partners. As a result, the outputs of the project can be quickly adopted into the research and development and production strategies of the offshore wind sector.

Funding for several follow-on projects has already been secured thanks to the excellent collaboration between all the partner institutions.

The World Sustainability Awards shortlisting recognises the partnership’s positive and lasting impact on Environmental Social Governance (ESG) conditions and for making huge strides to put ESG at the forefront.

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