TWI is active in a number of geothermal projects, using our extensive expertise and experience developed in the oil and gas sector in coatings, corrosion mitigation and pipe/drilling material properties, plant management and joining to help advance this important emerging energy source.
These projects include the S4CE (Science for Clean Energy) project to manage and mitigate environmental risks, the Geo-Coat project to develop erosion and corrosion-resistant coatings, GeoSmart which is looking into cost-effective heat energy storage, and the Geo-Drill project to develop cost-effective drilling technologies for geothermal energy production.
Geothermal provides a cost-effective, reliable and sustainable environmentally-friendly source of energy. As technological advances open up the range of viable resources, this renewable energy resource should see an increase in applications, such as home heating.
Thermal solar power has been used since 1910 when Frank Shuman powered a steam engine from sunlight in the Sahara. However, solar power was side-lined by the proliferation of fossil fuels during the 20th century. But, as renewable resources re-entered the conscious of the UK energy sector, so solar power once-again became an important part of the mix.
TWI’s knowledge of fabrication technology and materials expertise, including facilities for high-temperature testing, has already helped to drive down the cost of solar energy production and storage.
In addition, our development of advanced coatings and surface engineering has aided the optimisation of solar technology, for example with the SOLPLUS project which created a coating to mitigate the impact of dust and soiling on photo voltaic solar panels to reduce maintenance costs and power efficiency losses.