Implementing a Digital Reality framework

The Digital Innovation team of the EDF R&D UK centre is exploring new digital reality tools to support the challenges of power generation industry. From reality capture, to as-built Computer Aided Engineering and immersion or collaboration, the applications have many benefits. Accurate virtual scenes can for instance be used to better design maintenance operations and increase productivity and reliability of their implementation. Immersion in virtual reality improves skill training whereas mixed reality allows efficient co-working for engineers.

Watch video: EDF Energy - Google Glass

Ensuring quality assurance in meter installations

At EDF Energy R&D UK, an app was developed for Google Glass, a revolutionary wearable technology, to provide smart meter installers with a hands-free and voice activated mechanism to capture images and videos of meter installations.

The images help office-based quality assurance specialists to review the installation without arranging a second visit. It adds value by combining the installation and quality assurance to enable 100% installation audit rate and avoid post-install audits.

Changing energy consumption behaviour through gamification: EnerGaware

EDF Energy R&D UK not only delivers innovations for EDF Energy but we also deliver projects under external research programmes such as Innovate UK and Horizon 2020. EnerGaware is one of our current Horizon 2020 projects which seeks to promote behaviour change and energy efficiency through a concept known as “gamification.”

EnerGAware’s serious game, Energy Cat: The House of Tomorrow, is now available to play for free on iOS and ANDROID app stores! 

Learn even more about the project in this blog.

Modelling of the Graphite Cores of Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors

The cores of Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs) operated by EDF Energy are constructed from thousands of graphite bricks. These have a vital role in reactor physics (providing moderation) and in mechanical behaviour (maintaining the geometry for shutdown, cooling and fuel movement). With time graphite bricks may crack, a phenomenon we are beginning to experience and which is a normal part of the aging process.

As part of a wider R&D programme, the Modelling & Simulation team at EDF Energy R&D UK is developing advanced computational models in Code-Aster to simulate brick cracking and to assess the core behaviour under normal operation, fault and seismic loading.

Assessing Integrated Electric Heating Systems in homes

The Smart Energy System team at EDF Energy R&D UK is conducting an exciting project on the assessment of smart electric heating systems in homes as part of the Smart Systems & Heat Programme and on behalf of the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and the Energy System Catapult (ESC).

In collaboration with the French R&D department ENERBAT, the value of Heat Pumps and Hybrid Heat Pumps is assessed using the Dymola’s library BuildSysPro, which provides a detailed technical modelling of buildings and their energy systems.

Spotting trends in climate change

The Natural Hazards team at EDF Energy R&D UK is watching closely the trends and new research on how our climate is estimated to change in the close (2030) and far (2150) future. This feeds into the design choices for the Nuclear New Build and many other critical and strategic company decisions.

We have been attending crucial meetings within the UK Climate Projections 2018 (UKCP18) non-governmental end user group, where industrial stakeholders and non-governmental organisations are steering scientific research into climate change.

Watch video: Sim4Blocks

Preventing renewable energy from going to waste: Sim4Blocks

EDF’s Energy’s smart customers R&D team in the UK are working in collaboration on the Sim4Blocks project. Sim4Blocks is a European research project funded though the H2020 programme that is developing innovative energy management systems designed to make the most of renewable energy sources.

This simple animation explains how this innovative project will achieve this and the benefits it will bring to all

Leading innovations at Teesside Offshore Wind Farm

EDF Energy Renewables’ Teesside Offshore Wind Farm near Redcar is the first offshore windfarm where the development, engineering and construction have been entirely led by EDF Group companies. Its 27 turbines can produce 62MW of electricity, enough to supply all the homes in Redcar, Marske and Saltburn.

EDF Energy R&D UK is leveraging access to the Offshore Wind Farm at Teesside to trial new innovations in blade inspection, corrosion assessment, mapping of biofouling, maintenance data analytics and safety. These technologies will provide both a better operation and maintenance regime and lessons learnt that will help support overall cost reduction in the offshore wind sector.

Exploring SMART Cities

Smart cities is an initiative which cuts across a number of sectors including Energy, Waste, Transport, Digital and Health. EDF Energy R&D UK is developing smart cities strategies, business models and projects in the UK in conjunction with a number of Local Authorities, academic and industrial partners and research organisations to identify and showcase routes to a sustainable, connected, low carbon future.

Our smart cities activities encompass decentralised integrated energy, energy storage, smart grids, electric and autonomous transport, Building Information Modelling (BIM), connected homes, new business models such as energy, comfort and mobility as a service and initiatives to tackle fuel poverty and poor standards of living. All underpinned by emerging connected devices, data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) and our experience of delivering projects for international civic authorities such as Singapore.

Learn even more about our work in smart cities in this blog.

CROWN 2: Cost Reduction for Offshore Wind Now

CROWN 2 builds on a previously-funded project (CROWN) that aims to completely change the way offshore wind foundations are protected from corrosion. While a well-established and robust solution is to use a paint and galvanic anode approach, protection lifetime is limited by paint degradation and anode mass. Such systems are also expensive to manufacture, install and maintain.

The consortium will be investigating whether a single coating of aluminium, applied to the surface by arc-spraying, can replace paint and anodes entirely. If successful, such a coating (called Thermally Sprayed Aluminium, TSA) would lower the cost of wind energy, by removing bottlenecks in the manufacture of wind turbine foundations and eliminating a significant amount of secondary steelwork that has to be expensively welded by skilled professionals.

Developing Smart Metering Programmes

EDF Energy R&D UK is part of one of the largest infrastructure projects the UK energy system has ever undertaken by supporting the EDF Energy Smart Metering Programme in defining the technical requirements, and ensuring that the design of smart meters is fit for purpose. As a key part of our Connected Home activity it is important that this new technology performs to the highest standards and that customers benefit from accurate information.

EDF Energy R&D UK also leverages EDF Group's technical knowledge on Smart Metering, collaborating with EDF R&D France and the Linky Programme. Linked to Smart Metering, is the EnerGaware project under the external research programme Horizon 2020, which seeks to promote behaviour change and energy efficiency through a concept known as “gamification”.

Efficient Living: Allowing customers to make positive change through data

There exists a wide range of products that allow customers to generate and collect their energy data, but while data is easy to create, it is much more difficult to do something useful with it. This is why EDF Energy in collaboration with Applied Works are developing the tools necessary to provide customers with the value and insights created by their data. With our knowledge and ability to process and interpret energy data, we want to enable customers to make informed and number-driven decisions.

If customers can understand exactly how they are consuming energy, they will be better prepared to make effective and lasting changes to their behaviour – reducing their energy consumption and thus their bill. With data-backed analysis, customers will know exactly how much savings each change can bring them. This means no more guesswork and much more savings!

JellyMonitor: Using seafloor-mounted sonar to detect jellyfish blooms

The ingress of marine matter at nuclear power plants leads to safety impacts, lost generation and economic costs. As an example, Torness power station was shut down for 11 days in 2011 due to severe jellyfish blooms. EDF Energy R&D UK are developing a multi-faceted early warning system for marine ingress across EDF Group's fleet of power stations.

The JellyMonitor project has been investigating the use of a state of the art seafloor-mounted sonar coupled to a real-time automated recognition system to detect jellyfish blooms. The project has been funded for 3 years by innovate UK and includes partners at UEA and CEFAS. A working prototype system has been successfully developed through this project; this will now undergo extensive sea trials at Torness during the 2018 jellyfish season.

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