SuperGen UKCMER Grand Challenges

In the summers of 2011, 2012 and 2015 the SuperGen UK Centre for Marine Energy Research placed three £3 million research funding calls commissioning nationally leading researchers to investigate key questions for the present and future of marine energy. The first call, in 2011, concentrated on topics identified at the Workshop for the Accelerated Deployment of Marine Energy. The remit of the call was as follows:

  • Large scale Interactive coupled 3D modelling for wave and tidal energy resource and environmental impact.
  • Technology for device and environmental monitoring
  • Understanding extreme loading events and impact on devices and arrays.

The second Grand Challenges call, made in 2012, was intended to stimulate novel research that focussed on far term goals that could influence marine energy in 2050. The topics of interest were:

  • Novel, future, concepts for marine energy generation.
  • Marine energy generation in very deep water environments.
  • New materials for marine energy generation.
  • Very large array whole systems understanding; including:
    • Large and very large arrays,
    • cumulative large and very large arrays,
    • their impact on the marine environment,
    • the impact of environment on the arrays,
    • device performance within arrays
  • Instrumentation for extreme marine environments.
  • Resource prediction for very short timescales (hours)
  • Marine energy platforms; including:
    • adaptive control,
    • combined (multiple use),
    • multimodal systems,
    • modular systems.
  • Civil integration of GW scale marine energy generation.

The third call, made in 2015, had the following three priority remit areas, which were identified at a scoping workshop in October 2013 and were further refined (in consultation with UK marine energy champions):

  • Wave and Tidal Array Modelling
  • Novel Materials, Components and Sub-Systems
  • Increasing Survivability and Reliability

These three calls have led to the funding of 16 new research projects managed by the UKCMER hub. Each project is listed below, with links to view detailed descriptions of each project:

SuperGen Marine Technology Challenge (SMARTY)
The Effects of Realistic Tidal Flows on the Performance and Structural Integrity of Tidal Stream Turbines
Modelling Marine Renewable Energy Devices; Designing for Survivability
Increasing the life of Marine Turbines by Design and Innovation
Interactions of Flow, Tidal Stream Turbines and Local Sediment Bed Under Combined Waves and Tidal Conditions
Extreme Loading of Marine Energy Devices Due to Waves, Currents, Flotsam and Mammal Impact (X-MED)
Large Scale Interactive Coupled Modelling of Environmental Impacts of Marine Renewable Energy Farms
Optimal Design of Very Large Tidal Stream Farms: for Shallow Estuarine Applications
Step Change for Wave Energy Conversion through Floating Multi-Body Multi-Mode Systems in Swell (STEP-WEC)
The hydrodynamics of deformable flexible fabric structures for wave energy conversion
Reducing the Costs of Marine Renewables via Advanced Structural Materials (ReC-ASM)
All Electrical Drive Train for Marine Energy Converters (EDRIVE-MEC)
FloWTurb: Response of Tidal Energy Converters to Combined Tidal Flow, Waves, and Turbulence
Dynamic Loadings on Turbines in a Tidal Array (DyLoTTA)