Siemens to open UK Wind Power Research Centre at the University of Sheffield

The Sheffield Siemens Wind Power Research Centre (S_WP) is expected to employ an estimated 20 people and will focus on developing the most reliable, innovative and efficient wind turbine generators.

The University of Sheffield was chosen following Siemens’ long-term partnership with the University’s Electronic and Electrical Engineering department. The Electrical Machines and Drives Group, headed by Professor Qiang Zhu, undertakes world-leading research on technologies that are vital to future developments in electrical power engineering.

A fundamental element of the collaboration will include access to the Group’s 70 academic and research personnel, as well as the University’s state-of-the-art facilities.

Christoph Ehlers, Managing Director for Siemens Wind Power in the UK comments that: "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 both the wind industry and the environment."

The first endorsement of the collaboration came recently with a £1 million award to undertake joint innovation funded by The Northern Wind Innovation Programme and Siemens

Wind Power in Denmark. An additional £0.55 million has been awarded to the University in direct funding by Siemens Wind Power.

Christoph Ehlers adds: "We’re delighted to receive the funding in recognition of our partnership to develop next generation wind turbine technologies. The funding will not only help us serve the global market more competitively but also enable wind energy to make a major contribution to the UK’s energy needs."

The Siemens Research Centre will specialise in providing the overall technology, architecture and design of onshore and offshore wind turbine generators, devices generating electrical energy from wind power, for the global market.

From the outset, the Siemens Wind Power project team will be tasked with expanding its core team of generator experts and collaborating closely with the University of Sheffield to develop in-house competencies in generator design that maximises power conversion.

Professor Qiang Zhu from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield said: "We are extremely proud of the strong relationship which our

world-leading research in the Electrical Machines and Drives Group at the University of Sheffield 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."

Siemens has already established core competence centers for wind turbine R&D in Keele, Copenhagen, Aachen (Germany), Delft (Netherlands) and most recently in Boulder, Colorado.

Established in 2007, Siemens’ Research Centre in Keele specialises in developing power converter technology, converting and controlling the electrical power from wind turbine generators into a form compatible with the electricity grid. Siemens was recently awarded funding by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to develop next generation power converters for offshore wind turbines.

Siemens was established in the United Kingdom 166 years ago and now employs 18,402 people in the UK. Last year’s revenues were £3.7 billion. As a leading global engineering and technology services company, Siemens provides innovative solutions to help tackle the world’s major challenges, across the key sectors of energy, industry and healthcare. Siemens has offices and factories throughout the UK, with its headquarters in Frimley, Surrey. The company’s global headquarters is in Munich, Germany.

With nearly 24,000 students from 124 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK’s leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines. The University has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007). These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world. The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.