D2D: Turning the tide on climate: offshore renewable energy research

Abstract of the talk

Scotland is home to one of the world’s fastest tidal channels at the Pentland Firth, and a recent government announcement (the CFD AR4 renewable energy contracts) is accelerating activity to establish the world’s largest tidal energy farm. However, high levels of uncertainty in the hydrodynamic characterisations of our dynamic marine environments lead to technical and commercial risk for developers and operators of offshore renewable energy devices. 

The combined action of waves, currents and turbulence leads to highly variable 3D velocity fields, both in time and in space, with variation ranging from seconds (both random turbulence and deterministic wave orbital motion) to days, months and years (based on the predictable interaction of the sun-earth-moon tidal system). This talk will give an introduction to the School of Engineering’s efforts on combined measurement and modelling of these energetic sites, that have been conducted as part of multiple industrial-academic research projects over ten years spanning 2012-2022. 

About the speaker

Brian Sellar is a Chancellor’s Fellow in Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) with a PhD from the University of Edinburgh (2013) in novel distributed sensing for real-time wave field measurement and over 10 years of research experience working on industrial and academic projects in the area of wave and tidal energy. As work-package lead of a major European tidal energy project (www.realtide.eu) - where he was responsible for data capture, processing and provision - he delivered multi-year measurement and modelling campaigns, together with novel sensor demonstration. Brian recently led the UK Supergen ORE Hub FASTWATER tidal resource modelling project that combined University of Edinburgh expertise across the School of Engineering and the School of Maths. He currently leads the University’s involvement in the EPSRC HAPiWEC project and is Co-I on the £14m European ILIAD (https://www.ocean-twin.eu/) project that seeks to build tools to enable “Digital Twins of the Ocean”. 


Note, this seminar will be conducted virtually on Microsoft Teams. Sign up through the EventBrite to get access to a joining link for the online event.

Nov 24 2022 -

D2D: Turning the tide on climate: offshore renewable energy research

In this month's seminar we'll hear from Dr. Brian Sellar and explore the depths of hydrodynamic data, crucial for the safe design of tidal energy farms.