A centre designed to explore more reliable and efficient wind turbine generators has been opened today as part of a partnership between Sheffield University and Siemens Wind Power.

Located at the Kroto Innovation Centre in Sheffield, the Sheffield-Siemens Wind Power Research Centre (S²WP) will investigate wind turbine designs for future onshore and offshore wind power systems.

The centre, which is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, will benefit from access to the university’s academic and research personnel, as well as its facilities to develop in-house competencies in generator design that improve power conversion.

Christoph Ehlers, managing director for Siemens Wind Power in the UK, said: ‘Partnerships like this are essential to maintain our leading position in producing more efficient and reliable wind turbine technologies. Our constant dialogue with the university’s experts will translate into real-world solutions with benefits to the wind industry and the environment.’

The collaboration between Sheffield University and Siemens was developed following Siemens’ long-term partnership with the university’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, which includes the Electrical Machines and Drives Group.

Prof Qiang Zhu, from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, said: ‘We are extremely proud of the strong relationship that our world-leading research in the Electrical Machines and Drives Group at Sheffield University has led us to develop with Siemens Wind Power. The university is delighted that its Kroto Innovation Centre has been chosen as the location for Siemens’ global wind turbine generator research centre.’

The collaboration has received £1m of funding from the Northern Wind Innovation Programme and Siemens Wind Power in Denmark.  A further £0.55m has been awarded to the university in direct funding by Siemens Wind Power. According to Ehlers, the funding will help serve the global market more competitively and enable wind power to make a major contribution to the UK’s energy needs.