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Wind Energy Research

The UK now has more offshore wind installed capacity than any other country in the world and our research is helping to ensure this sector is efficient and cost effective.

The Wind Energy Group at Durham University is recognised as a leading academic wind energy research group in UK and globally, particularly within offshore wind energy.

Our research spans all aspects of wind energy from the design of turbine blades and foundations, cable installation, power electronics, the reliability and condition monitoring of wind turbines, how turbines interact within wind fields and with the environment, as well as the wider supply chain and regulatory contexts of wind farms.

The research group involves researchers from several of the University’s Departments including Engineering, Business School, Computer Science and Social Sciences.

Partnerships with Industry

We have strong research links with the Wind Energy Industry including a long-standing strategic partnership with the leading Offshore Wind Developer Ørsted - who have funded a Chair in Renewable Energy based in the Engineering Department since 2011.

Other key industry partnerships are with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Siemens-Gamesa, SMD, Cathie Associates, Lloyd’s RegisterSaipem and Roger Bullivant

We are also a member of the two leading regional Offshore Wind Clusters. We are innovation lead for Energi Coast in North East England and one of the founding partners for Aura in the Humber and a core partner in the Aura Centre for Doctoral Training, offering PhDs in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment.

We provide education, research and facilities that can support the offshore wind sector to reduce the costs and increase the efficiency and reliability of wind energy. Our research and training spans all aspects of wind energy from civil, electrical and mechanical component and system development and monitoring, through to energy systems integration including hydrogen storage.

State of the art research facilities.

Our state of the art facilities include Energy Conversion and Drivetrain, Wind Tunnel Array, Thermochemical Systems, Zero-Carbon Energy Systems, Hydrogen and Smart Grids laboratories which provide researchers and industry partners’ access to the latest research and analysis facilities.

Key research focus areas 

Operations & Maintenance

Structures & Geotechnics

Grid Integration

Reliability Analysis

Foundations and Anchors

Reliability Modelling

Condition Monitoring

Seabed Ploughing

Array Connection Topologies

O&M optimisation

Blade Fatigue Testing

Power Electronics

Data Mining

Prototype Turbine Geometries

Integration and interaction with power grid and energy storage


Aerodynamics & Control

Supply chain & Regulation

Blade Design and testing

Supply chain management

Aerodynamics and Wind Tunnel testing

International offshore / marine law

Wind Farm Control and optimisation

Community energy and attitudes