Our modern lifestyles are possible thanks to our ability to harness vast quantities of energy.
We use energy in many forms throughout the day. Sometimes this is obvious, such as how we use oil or gas to provide heat and hot water and the petrol we put in our cars. Other times it is so inconspicuous we don’t even think about it, such as the electricity that provides light and powers TVs, computers and portable electronics like smart phones. Likewise, lots of the infrastructure that makes up modern living, from water and sewage works through to telephone exchanges and mobile phone networks, consumes large quantities of energy.
The invention of the steam engine in the 1800s allowed humans to harness the power of fossil fuels, to create industry, transport and technology that revolutionised the planet. While this was a great benefit at the time, we have since come to appreciate that fossil fuels are a finite resource and have a negative impact on the climate of our planet.
The challenge of the 21st Century is to build the ‘Post Oil Economy’, and the EPIC research cluster is at the forefront in leading change. Our research facility is equipment with various forms of renewable energy generation including wind turbines, solar photovoltaics and biodiesel generators. We have expertise in monitoring large wind farms and simulating their effects and integration with the electricity grid.
Ireland can presently operate its electricity system with up to 50% of generation fed from renewable sources, mainly wind. It is our challenge to push this figure higher, to decarbonise our economy and to secure the UK and Ireland’s energy independence.
The EPIC research cluster is proud to lead and co-operate on many projects which address humanity’s needs for clean, carbon free energy supply.
The EPIC cluster is also proud to deliver Renewable Energy teaching to the IET Power Academy through the Electrical & Electronic Engineering pathways in the School of EEECS.