Research Areas

Research Theme: Energy Generation


Development of Lightweight Rotomoulded Multi-Layer Structures for Off-Shore Energy Generation

Queen’s University Belfast & Kingspan Water & Energy

The development of advanced manufacturing processes for large, low-cost and lightweight structural components is essential to the future success of the marine energy generation sector. The aim of this project is to develop new rotational moulding technologies that are capable of producing large multi-layer polymer/foam sandwich structures that can cope with the challenges of the marine environment.


Development of Hybrid Rotomoulded Composite Structures for Solar Panel Frames

Queen’s University Belfast & Platinum Tanks

The aim of this project is to develop knowledge and understanding of how thermoplastic composite materials can be combined with the process of rotational moulding to manufacture structural parts such as solar panel frames. The outputs will help to contribute to the design of a prototype tool which will be used to produce hybrid components for such solar applications.


Simulation of the Advanced Manufacturing of Multi-layer Rotomoulded Structures for the Renewable Energy Sector

Queen’s University Belfast & Rotosim Ltd

The aim of this project is the development of a multi-layer rotational moulding simulation and modelling program specifically for the advanced manufacturing of renewable energy sector structures. Low-cost tooling in the rotational moulding process makes multi-layer rotomoulded structures very attractive as an alternative to steel constructions.


Developing Small-Scale Off‐Grid Renewable Power through Anaerobic Digestion

Institute of Technology Sligo & Organic Power Ireland Ltd

The benefits of anaerobic digestion (AD) are widely recognised but traditional systems have a relatively high fixed-cost precluding their wider use. This project will deliver a robust, modular, cost‐effective small-scale system (circa 20kw/hour) including energy (battery) storage to match 24/7 power supply, with the normal peaks and troughs of demand. The system will be flat-packed, and operate inside two 40ft standard transport containers including all pumps, engines and the battery to give a plug-and-play system.


Development of New Nanocatalysts for the Direct Conversion of Biogenic Carbon Dioxide to Sustainable Fuels

South West College

The aim of this project is the development of new nanocatalysts for the direct conversion of biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) to “drop-in” fuels in the gasoline range (C8-C12), resulting in a sustainable production route. Hydrogen will be utilised from renewable energies and CO2 will be directly converted, which offers an attractive route for the efficient utilisation of CO2 as a renewable feedstock.


Physiochemical Characterisation and a Kinetic Investigation of Constituents Found in First-Generation (c-Si) Photovoltaic Modules

South West College

This project focuses on the development of a comprehensive characterisation study, kinetic and process model to further the understanding of the delamination and subsequent recovery of materials from an End-Of-Life (EoL) PV module using the thermochemical conversion method of pyrolysis. The aim of this project is to develop new recycling technologies that are capable of recovering constituents from a first-generation (c-Si) PV module whilst maximising yield and facilitating green manufacturing concepts like the circular economy.


Developing Band-Gap Tuneable Photocatalysts for the use of Energy Efficient LED Lamps

Institute of Technology Sligo & Kastus Technologies

Energy efficient LED lights, instead of the conventional use of UV light, is investigated as a sustainable technology for environmental and energy applications by way of photocatalysis. This project aims to develop photocatalysts that can yield high efficiency under energy efficient light sources (such as LED) and extend their application to room interiors where there is relatively poor lighting/illumination.


Realising Heavy Lift Operations from Floating Vessels for Offshore Wind

University of Strathclyde & Caley Ocean Systems (Industrial Systems and Control Ltd)

As offshore wind farms become larger in magnitude and positioned further from the shore, there is a strong economic incentive to have the heavy lifts required for installation and Operations & Maintenance carried out by floating vessels rather than expensive and slow jack-up vessels.  However, lifts from a floating vessel are heavily dependent on six degree-of-freedom active control.  High performance control is essential for successful lifts in all but benign sea/wind conditions, especially as the payload becomes very large and critical.  This project will study advanced control methods to widen the operating window and make heavy lifts from floating vessels viable.


Research Theme: Energy Storage


Near Isothermal Liquid Piston Research and Innovation

South West College & B9 Energy Storage Ltd

Liquid piston compression can offer an alternative to standard technologies with improved efficiency gains, reduced system complexity and reduced cost. The main objective of this research is to develop a novel isothermal compressed air energy system (CAES) using liquid piston technology.


Incorporating Heat Storage inside Twin-Walled Evacuated Tube Solar Collector

University of Strathclyde & Soltropy Ltd

The aim of this research project is to incorporate thermal storage inside twin-walled evacuated tube solar collectors. This increases the system efficiency, allows oversizing and so contributes to space heating without increasing the hot water cylinder size. This will be achieved using phase-change materials or materials with a high specific heat capacity. The challenge is to find a material that is affordable, safe and is compatible with all materials that it is in contact with.


Research Theme: Enabling Technologies


Techno-Economic Analysis of Decentralised Sustainable Energy Systems Installation and Market Potential at the Sector and System Level

South West College & Doosan Babcock

In the transition from current fossil-based energy systems to green-powered sustainable energy solutions, one of the many challenges facing both end-users and energy providers is the selection of the most optimal range of technologies that satisfies the trilemma of best economics, best environmental performance, and best social benefits. This research will focus on developing methodologies, algorithms and optimisation metrics to enable easy visualisation of energy transition paths for various areas, sectors and customers.


Industry 4.0 and Augmenting the Millennial Worker

University of Strathclyde & Booth Welsh Automation

This research project focuses on utilising Industry 4.0 technologies and augmenting the millennial worker within the renewable energy sector. By developing augmented reality technology there is the potential to bring vital information and data available at point-of-use to the board room or office.

September10

Renewable Engine PhD Researcher at UK Heat Transfer Conference

South West College’s PhD researcher, Mansoureh Khaljani, has attended the 16th UK National Heat Transfer Conference, 8-10 September 2019, organised by the University of Nottingham.  Mansoureh was able to present her work to a range of researchers working in the field. The UK National Heat Transfer Conference, organised under the aegis of the UK National … Continued

July31

Zara attends Catalysis Summer School at University of Liverpool

South West College’s PhD researcher, Zara Shiels, has attended the Catalysis Fundamentals & Practice Summer School hosted by the University of Liverpool.  Zara was able to present her work to a range of researchers working in the field. The Summer School provided an introduction to the fundamental aspects of catalysis such as homogeneous and heterogeneous … Continued


The project is supported by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), with match funding provided by the Department for the Economy (Northern Ireland) and Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Republic of Ireland).
Interreg - Northern Ireland - Ireland - Scotland - European Regional Development Fund

Dr Ehiaze Ehimen and Sean O'Connor of @itsligo have been in Ballintrane at the National Ploughing Championships surveying attendees from the agricultural sector and highlighting the benefits of Anaerobic Digestion ☀️🚜 #Ploughing19