Page last updated at 17:39 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Cash for offshore turbine study

Off-shore windfarm
Researchers will look at new designs for off-shore wind turbines

Scottish academics are to take part in multi-million pound research studies to design "cutting-edge" wind turbines for use offshore.

Staff from Strathclyde University will work with partners from across the UK on projects "Nova" and "Helm Wind".

The aim is to support ongoing efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Energy Technologies Institute - a partnership between the UK Government and industry - committed 20m to fund the projects and two other schemes.

Professor Bill Leithead, from Strathclyde University's department of electronic and electrical engineering, said: "We will be investigating how to create bigger, more effective wind turbines specifically for offshore deployment.

"The larger size of the wind turbines will enable greater exploitation of the wind energy resource.

The two projects are very different technically, but both aim to address the fundamental challenges of climate change
Professor Bill Leithead
Strathclyde University
"At the same time, we want to create technology that is cost-effective and extremely reliable to keep offshore maintenance to an absolute minimum.

"The two projects are very different technically, but both aim to address the fundamental challenges of climate change."

Project Nova aims to look at the feasibility of a new turbine design "with a pair of giant vertical wings".

Researchers believe such a design could be more stable and easier to maintain than the "the horizontal axis concept of conventional turbines".

Project Helm Wind will look at the design and feasibility of a new offshore wind farm.

It will look to address issues facing existing systems such as turbine reliability and accessing equipment for maintenance.

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