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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K004468/1
Title: GLOBAL - Edinburgh-Pacific Partnership of Excellence in New Energy Technologies
Principal Investigator: Bruce, Professor T
Other Investigators:
Attfield, Professor JP Bryden, Professor I Mueller, Professor M
Ingram, Professor DM Robertson, Professor N
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2012 Ends: 31 March 2013 Value (£): 483,782
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The UK, Japan and Taiwan are island nations whose economic growth has to be sustained into this millennium by ensuring sufficiency of secure and resilient low carbon supplies of electricity and human capacity to deliver the translation of their energy systems, in the face of increasing vulnerability to geopolitical, natural and economic phenomena. Their urban populations rely heavily on imported energy, yet have untapped renewable resources wave, tidal, offshore wind and solar resources often from diffuse sunlight. They are also industrialised nations with advanced research capabilities to address the scientific, engineering, economic, environmental and social challenges.

The project is founded on a best-with-best partnership between the University of Edinburgh and six universities in Japan and Taiwan. The project's vision is to use two-way secondments doing novel research to build a platform of shared success, upon which a broadening to other subject areas, and other partner institutions can be built. Thus the actual research areas above lie at the heart of this Partnership's work. Embracing these core activities are shared activities in post-graduate training; academic, government, industrial and public engagement.

The Partnership is focussed on some exciting areas ripe for research-led, rapid development in the field of new energy technologies. These span wave energy; tidal stream energy; offshore wind energy; solar cells, and underpinning energy materials. In each of these five thematic areas, Edinburgh experts will expand existing collaborations to deliver real research outcomes.

Theme 1, on coastal wave energy, sees Edinburgh wave energy expertise teamed with Japanese coastal engineering / breakwater expertise - a synergy which can deliver design uncertainty and project risk reduction, and consequent economic advantage.

Theme 2 will explore a novel tidal current measurement sensor for deployment offshore. One of the biggest single uncertainties in assessing (and costing) tidal stream energy is the machine's performance in real flows, as opposed to laboratory conditions. Field measurement is the key to progress here, and this device has the potential for major impact.

Theme 3 focuses on condition monitoring for offshore wind turbines. Moving from single machines in pilot schemes to large farms, issues of reliability become paramount to risk (and cost) reduction. This work can.

Theme 4 focuses on solar cell materials for devices that generate electricity from diffuse sunlight as is appropriate to UK, Japan and Taiwan settings. These "hybrid" cells are a promising technology to meet future energy needs.

Theme 5 will explore fundamental aspects of energy-related materials, using high pressures to generate new materials and explore their properties. A class of promising materials for white light LEDs, which are already widely used as efficient everyday light sources will be one of the main targets.

The Partnership's funded period is 12 months only, so there exists a serious challenge to make these activities sustainable. The strategic will be to use rapid research progress as a lever to deepen and extend these Partnerships, and to extend the network to engage further strategic partners. To these ends, near the end of the 12-month funded period, the Partnership will stage back-to-back Showcase events, in Taiwan and in Japan. These two-day events will see conventional dissemination activity complemented by open, ideas-generating research scoping workshop activities. The attendees should include not only academics with shared interests, but also other stakeholders in the new energy fields, very much including private and government sectors.

The project benefits from an agreement between the UK funders (EPSRC) and the Taiwan National Science Council (NSC) to enable matching Taiwanese support to be sought straightforwardly.

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