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Prof Richard Cochrane

Director of Education and Associate Professor for Renewable Energy

Email:

Telephone: 01326 259345

A Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Energy Institute with a passion for Renewable Energy and Engineering Design. A background in product development and energy in the built environment.

Wind Energy

Vertical Axis Turbines

Vertical Axis Wind Turbines: Designed and developed the Quiet Revolution QR5 helical vertical axis wind turbine. A fascinating project to have lead integrating class leading aerodynamics, composites, mechanical and structural engineering along with innovative control and performance monitoring systems. 

The machine was the first and to date only Vertical Axis design to successfully achieve certification under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme in the UK. 

 

Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines

I have assisted horizontal axis turbine manufacturers achieve certification for their turbines and worked on the design and optimisation of a number of different small wind turbines.

 

Hydro Power

I oversaw the development and first installations of a high efficiency double regulated Kaplan turbine which included novel bearing designs, integration of PLC and conventional control systems and CFD optimsation. I have designed run of river and high head hydro systems and am currently PI on a pumped hydro energy storage project exploring innovations in this area.

 

Solar Energy and District Heating

I have supported Eon and Exeter University's Centre for Energy and the Environment with energy modelling and life cycle analysis of an innovative district heating network supplied by the UK's largest solar thermal array and a heat pump.

 

Research activities

The primary drive for current research activities is on the simulation of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines combing past experience of aeroelastic modelling with the group's expertise in hydrodynamics and mooring analysis. Work involves simulation using NREL's FAST code, Orcaflex, Nemoh and Wamit for the mooring and wave loading and OpenFoam for CFD. As well as the development and validation of improved simulation tools, work includes evaluation of design opportunities to reduce the cost of FOWT's. 

I am also principal investigator for an InnovateUK funded project investigating novel opportunities for cost reductions in pumped hydro storage systems.

Consultancy

I have provided formal and informal input to energy technology developers in various sectors as well as broader energy generation and energy efficiency feasibility studies. 

Acting as the external reviewer I have provided guidance for other engineering programmes.