Strathclyde University joins £200,000 research project into low-speed tidal energy

Dr Daphne O’Doherty
Dr Daphne O’Doherty

Strathclyde University has been confirmed as one of three taking part in a new £200,000 research project which will look at new ways to generate power from the tides.

Dr Daphne O’Doherty, Head of the School of Engineering at the University of South Wales, is heading up the project which will look at the feasibility of extracting energy from low-velocity tidal flows.

USW and Cardiff University will be undertaking the numerical modelling, while Strathclyde University will be looking at blade design using its own bespoke software based on Blade element Momentum Theory.

All partners in the project will also be collaborating in considering the overall design of a feasible turbine for flows and determining the levelised cost of energy for the turbine. 

Dr O’Doherty said: “There has been a lot of research into generating energy from the fast-flowing waters, such as those that we have here in the UK which are driven by the large rise and falls in the tides in the seas around the British Isles.

“These mostly – but not always – flow at faster than three metres per second, so are strong enough to efficiently generate power. 

“However, there are many parts of the world, including large areas of the UK where  coastal water doesn’t flow as quickly, and so haven’t been the subject of a great deal of research

“What this project will look at is whether a slower tidal flow – under two metres per second – provide conditions that are suitable for energy generation.”

Meanwhile, new figures show that there has been an increase of more than 70% in the number of women undertaking engineering undergraduate degrees in the last 10 years.
 
Figures from the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre show positive yet modest progress and significant disparity between the number of women going into engineering compared to men.
 
Today marks International Women in Engineering Day, which aims to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus on the career opportunities available in this thriving industry. 
 
Mairi Evans MSP (SNP) commented: “In my own constituency of Angus North and Mearns there are an abundance of oil and gas engineering firms that provide great opportunities for men and women interested in engineering.
 
“While it is really encouraging to see more women studying engineering in Scotland under the SNP, we still have a long way to go to catch up with other European nations in terms of women studying, graduating and going on to jobs in engineering. 
 
“On International Women in Engineering Day, I highlight that there is no reason why engineering should remain a male-dominated industry, and I hope more women and girls are inspired into this industry, bringing skills and benefits to our economy.”

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