Published: 28 June 2017

Wind energy experts at Surrey co-write influential text book

Civil engineering academics have contributed five chapters to 'Wind Energy Engineering', which promises to become a core reference book for anyone in the rapidly expanding field of wind energy technology.

With temperatures rising and CO2 levels increasing globally, the need to move away from fossil fuels towards more sustainable forms of energy is driving the growing use of wind energy. In the UK, 12 per cent of electricity was generated from wind turbines in 2016, while on 7 June 2017, the UK produced around 27 per cent of its power requirements from offshore wind.

The new book, Wind Energy Engineering: A Handbook for onshore and offshore Wind Turbines, aims to provide a research-based reference tool on every aspect of wind energy. Published in May 2017 by Elsevier, the book is written by some of the most forward-thinking professionals in the field from 12 different countries – including Professor Subhamoy Bhattacharya, Chair in Geomechanics within Surrey’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The book is aimed at students, researchers and academics, as well as scientists, engineers and other professionals working in the energy sector.

As well as examining the fundamentals of wind power and its integration into national grids, the book provides a high level assessment of advances in turbine technology and how investment, planning, aesthetics and economic infrastructure can support these innovations. It also includes chapters on storing wind energy, small-scale wind systems, life cycle assessments, investments and growth trends.

While Europe leads the world in offshore wind energy, with UK currently the largest producer of offshore wind, other countries such as China, Korea and Japan are fast catching up. In a chapter written in collaboration with Zhejiang University and Qingdao University (China), Professor Bhattacharya examines the different design challenges offshore wind turbine design poses in China (where there are typhoons and soft soil deposits) and Europe (where rocks in shallow waters, for example, hamper foundation construction). Professor Bhattacharya is a Visiting Professor at Zhejiang University.

Wind Energy Engineering draws on Surrey’s expertise in advanced soil testing (using its state-of-the-art Advanced Geotechnical Engineering (SAGE) laboratory), advanced numerical and analytical modelling of foundation, and the dynamics of the overall system. These are fundamental to understanding the civil engineering aspects of wind turbines and assessing the safety and reliability of these relatively new technologies.   

The book includes contributions from Professor Bhattacharya, Dr Liang Cui, Post-Doctoral fellow Dr Masoud Shadlou and PhD students Mr Saleh Jalbi and Mr George Nikitas. Professor Bhattacharya collaborated with Dr Domenico Lombardi (University of Manchester) and Dr Susana Lopez Querol (University College London) to write some chapters.

Professor Bhattacharya commented:

“Large scale offshore wind turbines have the potential to replace nuclear power reactors, and can be installed in a fraction of the time it would take to build a nuclear power plant. However these are new energy infrastructures with no track record of long term performance, so continuous research is needed to assess their reliability. This new knowledge is being generated at an enormous pace.

“It has been very satisfying to work with academics and industries from around the world to translate global research knowledge into a practical guide. We hope that the book will not only provide guidance for industry professionals but also help politicians and corporate decision makers to understand the importance of renewable energy in combatting climate change. It will also form an important part of the Energy Geotechnics module of our MSc in Advanced Geotechnical Engineering.”

Wind Energy research at Surrey is supported by a number of industrial partners including VJTech, RWE Innogy, Fleur and EPSRC (DTA studentship & Global Challenge Research Fund).

Discover our programmes in Civil and Environmental Engineering, including our MSc in Advanced Geotechnical Engineering.

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