New partnership to advance wind-power technology
Press release issued: 22 July 2009
It is predicted that wind energy could provide as much as 13 per cent of global electricity demand in 2020 and as much as 25 per cent in 2030. A partnership announced today [Wednesday 22 July] aims to advance wind-power technology using composite materials.
The University of Bristol has established a partnership with Vestas Wind Systems, a world-leading provider of wind power and services, to develop composites technology for future products.
The new partnership forms part of the University’s Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science (ACCIS) and will be housed within ACCIS’s new £5.4 million extension to their home in the Queen’s Building.
Dr Paul Weaver, Director of the ACCIS Doctoral Training Centre and Reader in Lightweight Structures, said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to establish this new partnership, extending our expertise beyond aerospace to the renewables sector, and look forward to applying our skills in design, analysis and manufacture of advanced composites to wind turbines."
Ian Chatting, Vice-President, Global Research for Vestas, added: "Composites are recognised as a vital component of wind turbine blades design and manufacturing capability. We already use composites but increasingly we expect higher performance composites to be applied to increasingly efficient, larger blades. Such capability will strengthen our global competitiveness.
"Bristol is a proven world-leading centre of excellence for composites research and development and we are delighted to make this the focus of our own composites research. Academic collaboration is increasingly important, and I expect Bristol will work with our international research network on this important technology area."
The Bristol-based partnership will act as a focus for composites research activities, liaising closely with Vestas research capabilities across the globe, but particularly at their Blade Research Centre on the Isle of Wight.
Research will focus on three areas: manufacturing of blades, smart materials and lightweight structures.
Bristol will have an academic team headed by Dr Weaver and a research team incorporating academic staff, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students.
Professor Michael Wisnom, Director of ACCIS, said: "This venture represents an exciting diversification for ACCIS and helps fulfil our vision of providing fundamental composite materials solutions to all industries."