Robotics & Autonomous Systems

Find out more about our robotics and autonomous systems testing and validation facilities.

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Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub

The Catapult has appointed the University of Strathclyde and the University of Manchester to form the Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub.

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Automation & Engineering Solutions

Find out more about our work in robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

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Stay Current

Dig deeper into the biggest issues facing offshore wind, wave and tidal energy with our series of Analysis & Insight papers.

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Innovation Challenges

Solving these technology innovation challenges will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy, with positive effects for the industry and UK economy. If your technology has the answer, get in touch via our contact form on the Innovation Challenges page.

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Introduction

ORE Catapult research covers three key research programmes:

  • Testing and validation of new technologies
  • Operational performance
  • Disruptive innovation

Each programme contains sub-programmes of activity in the following knowledge areas:  Rotors, Powertrains, Electrical Infrastructures, Foundations/Structures and Wind & Ocean Conditions (incl. Resource Assessment).

 

Activity

Our research is industry-led; the research strategy is influenced by consultations with key stakeholders including owner/operators, OEMs, the top-tier supply chain, SMEs, and innovators.

Outputs from these consultations are then combined with research community engagement, particularly academic engagement. This results in the formation of three key research programmes fulfilling many fundamental elements of the offshore renewable energy industry and relevant technology developments.

 

Research Hubs

Our Research Hubs aim to build a stronger, complementary offering of academic research, innovation, demonstration and representative testing to the offshore renewables sector. The activities of the Hubs combine academic and industry skills and resources to better respond to industry’s needs.

We run the Wind Blade Research Hub with the University of Bristol, the Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub with Strathclyde and Manchester Universities and are currently seeking a UK-based University to partner with us in a Powertrains Research Hub.

 

The collaboration with a world-class research and test institution such as ORE Catapult cements our position as an offshore industry leader and enforces our commitment to innovation and to further developing the sector to the benefit of developers, consumers, and the environment.

Alexis Crama
LM Wind Power's VP Offshore

A significant part of the ORE Catapult research programmes has a longer-term focus than many of our industry clients would ordinarily undertake.  This includes clients who don’t have a research department of their own. The role of the ORE Catapult research team is to develop and deliver research activity focusing on Intellectual Property and knowledge creation, in areas such as cost reduction innovations, improved reliability and better modelling for improved operations.

Many of our sub-programme research projects have created high-impact research outcomes including:

  • the development of a world-leading bi-axial blade test methodology;
  • an enhanced large-scale bearing accelerated testing strategy (BATS);
  • a power converter life-assessment software tool (CLAST);
  • deep aero-elastic modelling knowledge for long (+80m) blades.

These outcomes provide tools and solutions to improve reliability, reduce design margins and optimise maintenance strategies, thus leading to a lower levelised cost of energy (LCoE) for the offshore renewables’ sector.

 


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