Multi-million Euro research facility inaugurated in Wales

A new energy research centre has opened at Port Talbot in Wales. The Gas Turbine Research Centre (GTRC) at the University of Cardiff’s School of Engineering will investigate cleaner and more
efficient ways of generating power for electricity and aircraft. Some 20 partners from all over Europe will be involved in the partly EU-funded research.

The European project – receiving around ?200,000 from the EU – will test alternative liquids and the gaseous fuels produced from biomass and waste gases. But this is only part of the research
to be done at the GTRC, as it also wants to attract commercial projects. One such industrially-sponsored programme, studying the formation of environmental pollutants such as nitrogen oxides,
carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons within the combustor, is already in the pipeline.

The research centre houses two large-scale combustion rigs. These rigs are able to test a great number of different fuels, also varying settings such as flowrate, temperature and pressure. In
addition, the centre is equipped with a special measuring technology in order to allow researchers to gather detailed data on pollutant formation.

‘Gas turbines generate something like 20% of the world’s power through aircraft or electrical power generation,’ said Phil Bowen, director of the centre. ‘There are only a few combustion
research centres like this worldwide, and the Gas Turbine Research Centre offers some unique features. We hope to provide significant research and the development support to the international
energy sector as it strives to meet demanding global challenges ahead.’

‘As the drive to reduce carbon emissions becomes more important, these facilities will be a ‘win-win’ for Wales and a ‘win-win’ for the world and its environment,’ Wales’ First Minister Rhodri
Morgan added.

?5.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund went into the construction of the facility. Another ?500,000 was contributed by the Welsh Assembly Government.

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