The Engineering and Physical Science s Research Council (EPSRC) Sustainable Power Generation and Supply (SuperGen) programme is the flagship research initiative shaping the future of the United Kingdom’s energy research landscape. It contributes to the UK's environmental emission targets by conducting research that leads to radical improvement in the sustainability of the UK's power generation and supply. The first of a total of 13 consortia was launched in October 2003. The mission of these consortia was to establish a platform for the development of new and improved devices for efficient and sustainable power generation and supply. The research of the Marine Energy Consortium focuses on developing the potential for future exploitation of the marine energy resource.
1.1 Phase 1
SuperGen Marine Phase 1 (October 2003 – September 2007) brought together research staff from the Universities of Edinburgh, Robert Gordon, Lancaster, Heriot-Watt and Strathclyde. Together they undertook generic research with the following long-term objectives. To:
- Increase knowledge and understanding of the extraction of energy from the sea;
- Reduce risk and uncertainty for stakeholders in the development and deployment of technology;
- Enable progression of marine technology and energy into true positions in future energy portfolios.
In order to meet these objectives, thirteen research work packages (WPs) were undertaken:
- WP1 Appraisal of Energy Resource & Converters: Environmental Interaction;
- WP2 Development of Methodologies for Device Evaluation and Optimisation;
- WP3 Engineering Guidance;
- WP4 Offshore Energy Conversion and Power Conditioning;
- WP5 Chemical Conversion and Storage;
- WP6 Network Interaction of Marine Energy;
- WP7 Lifetime Economics;
- WP8 Moorings and Foundations;
- WP9 Novel Control Systems for Marine Energy Converters;
- WP10 Full-scale Field Validation;
- WP11 Assessment of Testing Procedures for Tidal Current Devices;
- WP12 Economic, Environmental and Social Impact of New Marine Technologies;
- WP13 Dissemination and Outreach.
Phase 1 trained 13 PhD students that took up employment across the sector. The outcomes and publications of this work are recorded in a preceding monograph, copies of which are available to download at the SuperGen Marine website.
1.2 Phase 2
SuperGen Marine Phase 2 (October 2007 – September 2011) brought together research staff from the core Universities of Edinburgh, Queen’s Belfast, Heriot-Watt, Lancaster and Strathclyde. The consortium included affiliate Universities of Durham, Exeter, Highlands and Islands, Manchester, Robert Gordon and Southampton. Together they undertook generic research with the following long-term objectives:
- Increase knowledge and understanding of device-sea interactions of energy converters from model-scale in the laboratory to full-size in the open sea, subjected to waves and currents.
- Build human and physical capacity to carry out research and development to address remaining and new challenges as the expanding sector works towards the targets set.
- I nternationalise its articulation, activities, perception and influence.
There were twelve work streams (WSs).
- WS1 Numerical and physical convergence;
- WS2 Optimisation of collector form and response;
- WS3 Combined wave and tidal effects;
- WS4 Arrays, wakes and near field effects;
- WS5 Power take-off and conditioning;
- WS6 Moorings and positioning;
- WS7 Advanced control and network integration;
- WS8 Reliability;
- WS9 Economic analysis of variability and penetration;
- WS10 Ecological Consequences of Tidal & Wave Energy Conversion; SuperGen Marine Energy Research 4
- WS11 Training and Development;
- WS12 Dissemination, Engagement and International Articulation.
Through its Doctoral Training Programme, Phase 2 has trained over 30 PhD students. Many have taken employment in the sector with, for example Vattenfall, AWS Ocean Energy, E-on, DetNorkseVeritas, Garrad Hassan and Open Hydro. Many others have joined the research staff in universities across the UK and Europe.
Phase 2 was advised by an Industry Research Advisory Forum that included Marine Current Turbines; Open Hydro; Pelamis Wave Power; Ocean Power Technology; Scottish&Southern Energy; Scottish Power; Ed F; E-On; NPower; ETI; Carbon Trust; EMEC; NaREC; Crown Estates; Scottish Natural Heritage.
Phase 2 collaborated with the following international partners: HMRC Cork-Ireland, TU Delft-Netherlands, Ecole Centrale Nautique Nantes-France, Dalhousie University-Canada, Oregon State University, Florida Atlantic University, UMass – USA; Universities of Osaka City and Hokkaido – Japan; Harbin Engineering University and Dalian University of Technology – China; National Sun-Yat Sen, National Taiwan Ocean University, National Chen Kung University – Taiwan.
1.3 Phase 3
The Marine consortium secured continuation funding for Phase 3, supporting a further five years of research from October 2011, and this brings together staff from the core Universities of Edinburgh, Queen’s Belfast, Strathclyde and Exeter. The consortium includes associate Universities of Plymouth, Heriot-Watt, Lancaster, Manchester, Swansea, Oxford and Southampton. Together they form the UK Centre for Marine Energy Research, whose core membership and management tea m will aim to ensure a joined-up regional, disciplinary and thematic effort to meet the challenges in accelerating deployment towards and through 2020 targets, and maintain the international brand image and UK world-lead in marine energy with the following long-term objectives:
- Conduct world-class fundamental and applied research that assists the marine energy sector to accelerate deployment and ensure growth in generating capacity through 2020 targets.
- Expand and operate an inclusive marine network of academic researchers, industry partners and international collaborators.
- Continue to provide the highest quality of doctoral training and knowledge transfer in partnership with industry to build intellectual and human capacity for the sector.
This document consists of five sections and contains three appendices. Section 2 summarises research in Phase 2 over the second four years of the programme. The aims of the future research in Phase 3 are presented in section 3. The Doctoral Training Programme and Dissemination, Engagement and International Articulation are summarised in sections 4 and 5. Details of the individuals involved in the programme, abstracts of the research outputs from Phase 2 grouped by work stream, and then alphabetically, are contained in Appendices 1 - 3.
Other SuperGen Monographs: