- Marine energy: Research in wave and tidal energy encompass development of new knowledge which contributes to our understanding of the waves and flows in the sea (resource assessment and kinetic energy potential), the conversion of the resource by appropriate technologies such horizontal axis turbines and fundamental understanding of specific wave energy devices.
- Solar photovoltaics (PV): Research covers fundamental understanding of solar cells, system designs, building integrated PV, solar refrigeration, PV minigrid approaches to power supply in rural communities in Africa and elsewhere (see item 4, below).
- Low carbon cities and infrastructure: Research and studies that address:
- Link building refurbishments and occupier comfort to achieve reduced demand (Urban energy studies). Use of urban energy generation technologies such as solar photovoltaic (PV), microwind turbines, micro combined heat and power (µCHP) and ground source heat pumps to address electricity and heat generation in cities and elsewhere. Large scale refurbishment of buildings, data and modelling, energy efficiency measures and application of combine heat and power (CHP) technologies in communities.
- This work builds on an EPSRC grant awarded through on Sustainable Urban Environments programme to develop tools for industry that created appropriate weather data sets as input to building simulation software. These tools are now the industry standard for generating such tools (Building performance under changing climate).
- In infrastructure a key challenge involves taking into account the ways in which infrastructure systems in one sector increasingly rely on other infrastructure systems in other sectors in order to operate. These interdependencies mean failures in one system can cause follow-on failures in other systems. The work has a bias to toward energy and city infrastructure and their resilience.
This work is supported through programmes addressing the fast development within China (and the concomitant increase in carbon emissions) under Eco networks, the carbon emission reduction work being undertaken within UK cities funded by EPSRC and City Councils, Liveable Cities and the International Centre for Infrastructure Futures (ICIF).
- Energy for Development: Current works in Africa promoting and implementing electrification projects for impoverished rural villages without power sources, establishing and addressing villagers’ needs, investigating impacts on rural poverty and improving the health and wellbeing of the community. This works is providing power to businesses and to around 3000 villagers in Kenya and influencing the works of global institutions with mandates in this area. Other countries being considered are Uganda, Mozambique and Zambia (www.energyfordevelopment.net).