Powertrain Research Hub

A five year research collaboration project between the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the University of Sheffield to improve existing and develop next generation renewable energy technology in the UK.

Aerial view of offshore wind farm
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The five year research collaboration project between the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the University of Sheffield started in May 2019.  Other institutions will join the programme over the course of the project as individual research proposals are supported.

The ORE Catapult is the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy. Their strategy is “to leverage our unique facilities and expertise to work in close partnership with the heavyweights of the offshore renewables industry – the OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and other large industrials, the developers and owner/operators – to improve existing and develop next generation renewable energy technology in the UK.

In so doing, we enable and support the development of a vibrant indigenous supply chain, provide a clear route to market for innovative new companies and technologies, and direct and pull through applied research from the UK’s world-leading academic base.”

The overarching objective of the Powertrain Research Hub is to support and fund the research and development of future technologies for the anticipated larger turbines and to research in depth potential solutions that improve turbine reliability, availability and minimise human interventions throughout the lifecycle of the asset.

Reliability considerations are a key concern for the wind industry due to the significant cost incurred because of repair and loss in operation time/power output. The powertrain represents a complex system of both power electronics and mechanical systems which must be continuously monitored. As such it will be key to develop condition monitoring systems that can provide prognostic analysis of the components of a powertrain system which include the converter, generator, bearings and gearbox.

This vision will be achieved through activity in three areas:

A. Reliability improvement and advanced test methodology development.
B. Advanced health condition monitoring and prognostic technologies.
C. Development of next generation powertrain components for larger sized wind turbines.

For more information please visit npow.group.shef.ac.uk/further-funding/ and ore.catapult.org.uk/work-with-us/our-collaborations/ptrh/

Lead Researchers:

Top 10 in the UK

We're in the top 10 UK Electronic and Electrical Engineering Departments (QS World University Rankings 2021).

REF 2021 illustration

Research Excellence Framework 2021 results

The results demonstrate our research and impact excellence across a broad range of disciplines and confirm that our research is having a significant positive impact on lives across the globe.