Five RGU engineering students have won a group project award from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), which allowed them the opportunity to present their research at a prestigious online international conference.
The £800 grant allowed the students to attend the seventh International Conference on Advances in Clean Energy Research, where they delivered their paper on Energy Development and Power Systems – winning ‘Best Presentation’ on the day.
The work from the paper was part of the final year MEng Group project by fifth year students Jack Durkacz, Ryan Chan, Ethan Fong, Hamish Gillies, and Thomas Mullan. The group designed and built a cluster turbine arrangement using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling to optimise the turbine design. The group also made use of the wind tunnel facilities at RGU to validate and test the findings.
Jack commented, ”We decided on this project as we saw an opportunity to work on an area which contributed to the renewable energy sector. The majority of the research for wind energy has been with regards to horizontal axis wind turbines whereas this project looked to develop vertical axis wind turbines by harnessing the synergistic abilities when clustered together, leading to enhanced efficiencies.
“The world is starting to realise that the energy demand needs to be met by a range of different sources, so we see the development of varying forms of renewable technology as important for the future”.
The cluster turbine design developed by students was able to create increased efficiencies compared to a standalone isolated turbine. Vertical turbines can be clustered together in much closer proximity than horizontal counterparts, leading to development of power density qualities.
Dr Sheikh Islam, Academic Strategic Lead at the School of Engineering added:
“The award from the IMechE is a reflection not only of the hard work put in by the students but also their determination to tackle a topical problem using innovative design ideas. The confidence that the students have gained from presenting their work to world-leading experts in the field of clean energy research will stand them in good stead as they enter their professional careers. This also echoes with RGU’s ethos of equipping our engineering students with the relevant skills to meet future challenges in their field head-on.”