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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V040553/1
Title: Bionic Adaptive Stretchable Materials for WEC (BASM-WEC)
Principal Investigator: Xiao, Professor Q
Other Investigators:
Day, Professor AS Bomphray, Professor I Brennan, Professor FP
Yang, Dr L
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
National Ocean Technology Centre National Subsea Research Initiative Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
Department: Naval Architecture, Ocean & Marine Eng
Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2021 Ends: 30 September 2024 Value (£): 990,521
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Marine & Hydropower Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
11 Feb 2021 Marine Wave Energy Call Prioritisation Meeting Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Wave Energy Converters (WECs) transform the kinetic and/or potential energy of ocean waves into electricity. Among different types of WECs technologies, none of them achieves economic competitiveness. The main challenges of commercialisation of existing WECs arise from the devices' low-performance efficiency and the WEC system's vulnerability under harsh sea conditions. Inspired by aquatic animals' flexible body and fins, a range of adaptive, flexible materials have attracted attention in WEC development in the past decade. The specific characteristic of such material is that its shape deforms adapting to the loading applied to it. There are several benefits using a flexible material as part of WEC structures.

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Strathclyde in collaboration with National Manufacturing Institute Scotland in Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (NMIS-LMC) will develop a methodology to address different challenges regarding design and manufacturing of Bionic Adaptive Stretchable Materials for WEC (BASM-WEC). This will be supported by industry partner and research institution, e.g. Wave-venture, ORE Catapult Wave & Tidal Energy Sector, National Subsea Research Initiative in UK, National Ocean Technology Centre in China, and SBM Offshore based in France.

To achieve the main objectives, this project will develop a hydro-elastic analysis tool based on advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics techniques to provide a robust analysis method for prescribing the detailed materials specification required by the desired WEC functionalities and allow the benchmarking of the lower-order rapid models developed in parallel for device optimization. Tailoring of material functions and performance will be achieved through the concept of both composite and hybrid materials. The former involves modifying flexible parent materials with secondary addition of dissimilar materials (e.g. functional fillers and fibres), and the latter involves developing a multi-layered structure with each layer serving different functions. Together, these techniques will guide new material development through fine-tuning material properties by targeted material selection and modification. The complex physics and effect of flexible material will be crosschecked by simulation method and laboratory testing at the small scale device level, providing new insight. Knowledge of complex coupled hydro-elastic models will be beneficial to general offshore renewable energy.

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Organisation Website: http://www.strath.ac.uk