Robotics & Autonomous Systems

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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

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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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Live Innovation Opportunities

There are a number of programmes identifying the key technology innovation challenges faced by the offshore renewables industry. Solving these challenges will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy, with positive effects for the industry and UK economy. Visit our Live Innovation Opportunities page to find out if your technology has the answer.

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The direct-drive permanent magnet generator has been a key enabler in the growth of offshore wind in Europe. Their multi-megawatt scalability has brought improved efficiency and lower maintenance costs – but they use large volumes of rare earth magnets, which are scarce, expensive, and sourced almost exclusively from China.

Wed 13 Jun 2018
Last Updated
Wed 5 Dec 2018

Enormous Opportunities

GreenSpur Renewables was established to develop and commercialise a new direct-drive generator that exclusively uses ferrite – an abundant material around forty times cheaper than rare earth – as an alternative. The Essex SME’s concept removes the price and supply risks of using rare earth magnets and presents enormous opportunities for UK-based manufacturing and its associated supply chain.

Watch GreenSpur's Backing the Game Changers Case Study

"Scaling up short term production in the UK could create 200 new manufacturing jobs plus a further 70 in the supply chain. If the technology is deployed at the 2GW to 3GW level, it could lead to the creation of over 3,000 new UK jobs.” Andrew Hine, GreenSpur Renewables

The Solution

GreenSpur and the ORE Catapult successfully tested a 75kW prototype in autumn 2017. The collaborative partnership has continued with the support of Innovate UK grant funding and the focus is now on testing of a 250kW stage of a 1MW unit during Q1 2019. GreenSpur is also working on multi-MW designs with Warwick Manufacturing Group and plans to release technical data to development partners during 2019. GreenSpur’s revolutionary technology has worldwide export potential and if deployed at to the 2–3GW level could lead to the creation of over 3,000 new jobs: this is a revolutionary UK technology with the potential to have a global impact.

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Essex-based GreenSpur Renewables' pioneering generator has enormous potential for UK-based manufacturing and its associated supply chain.

Its innovative ferrite magnet concept removes the price and supply risks of rare earth elements, as well as minimising the environmental impacts associated with their mining.

Scaled up to multi-MW levels, the technology could lead to the creation of over 3,000 new jobs in the UK.

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