EDF Energy Research and Development (R&D UK) is a centre of technical excellence whose main purpose is helping to build a brighter energy future for the UK.
Our vision is: “Accelerating the transition to a sustainable, low carbon society through the development and testing of new technologies and business models.”
EDF Energy R&D UK is currently advancing research in the fields of Low Carbon Generation (supporting existing nuclear, nuclear new build and renewables), Modelling and Simulation, Environment and Natural Hazards, Energy System Design, Smart Cities, Local Energy Systems, Energy Storage & Efficiency and Smart Digital Technology.
By coupling the advances in science and engineering with the emergence of new digital innovations EDF Energy R&D UK is providing ground breaking solutions to policy makers, partners and customers in order to realise our vision.
We believe controlling smart devices and querying account information using voice will help place EDF Energy at the centre of the connected home.
At EDF Energy R&D UK, we have a single common focus: local delivery of global value. Through high-end expertise and services, we support all EDF Energy business units to successfully tackle short and mid-term challenges, while exploring future low carbon technologies and opportunities for the benefit of our business in the UK, EDF Group and the general public more broadly.
- Xavier Mamo, Director of EDF Energy Research & Development.
EDF Energy R&D UK, with EDF Energy Renewables, have developed a new way of using Augmented Reality (AR) to help with public acceptability of big energy infrastructure projects. Combining engineering expertise with rapid digital delivery, EDF Energy R&D UK created a working app to test this new concept in the case of offshore wind farms. The aim was to give local stakeholders a personalised view of proposed offshore wind farms, providing a visualisation of how the developments would appear from the user’s position on the shore. A world patent was subsequently granted for this project. EDF Energy R&D UK is currently exploring this modern technology concept further in any infrastructure project where public acceptability is important; offshore/ onshore wind, nuclear power stations, combined heat and power projects.
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.
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.
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), a non-governmental end user group, where industrial stakeholders and non-governmental organisations are steering scientific research into climate change.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
Dominique Bertin, Smart Energy Applications Manager
“My team supports the activities for the development of EDF solutions for tomorrow’s cities, communities and buildings. The aim is to help local residential customers, industry and authorities to respond successfully to the environmental and energy challenges they face throughout their low carbon journey.”
Jean-Michel Daignan, Data Scientist
“On a International Volunteer Assignment (VIE) contract in the Digital Innovation team, my role is to develop the activities of the Virtual Data Lab, to improve the usage of data for different entities of the company. It entails collecting, storing and analysing data from different sources to create value for EDF Energy.”
Georgina Clegg, Natural Hazards Industrial Placement
“I’m on an industrial placement within the Natural Hazards Group. I’m working on projects relating to extreme weather and marine ingress, to help EDF Energy to better understand and protect against these phenomena.”
Nicholas Crocker, Project Manager
"I manage a wide range of projects for all R&D departments, but I specialise in public funded ventures. I have been with EDF for two years and every day presents a new challenge which keeps my role exciting and connecting with different people."
Irena Yanachkova, Digital Developer
“I am a third-year student at the University of Greenwich, on an industrial placement with EDF Energy R&D UK. Since I started, I’ve been working on a web based system which uses an exciting new way to give essential information to customers. I’ve also been working with colleagues in France on a project, which we first started in a hackathon, to develop a blockchain based system to enable recycling."
Esteve Borras, IDCORE Research Engineer
“I’m an EngD candidate at the Industrial Doctoral Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE), funded by the ETI and the EPSRC RCUK Energy programme. I’m currently working on cost and uncertainty in the design of offshore wind farms and contributing to the development of stochastic cost modelling tools.”
Philippe Martinuzzi, Research Engineer Mechanical Modelling
“I develop modelling tools to better assess the structural integrity of nuclear plants and contribute to the life extension of the UK nuclear power plants. I also lead on the Graphite related activities and am responsible for developments and supervision of the graphite team.”
Dan Bentham, Head of R&D Smart Customers
“Being responsible for all of the downstream R&D activities in the UK gives me a unique opportunity to understand the complex challenges facing the UK energy system today and those in the future."
Roger Townsend, Open Innovation Manager
“Open Innovation is a global R&D initiative to boost EDF Group performance by fostering partnerships with technology start-ups and high growth SMEs. The Open Innovation team finds innovation to help the business create new products and/or services, or be more efficient in our day to day operations.”
Maria Brucoli, Research Engineer for Smart Customers
“I have a keen interest in rural electrification in emerging economies including both small remote villages and wider strategic country wide plans. My work in R&D is focusing on local decentralised energy systems such as meter storage applications, community energy and smart cities.”
Will Selby, Digital Project Manager
“I lead on the projects that R&D Digital Innovation deliver for the Customers business. I share my time between project management, product and service design, stakeholder management, writing proposals and demoing our work.”
Hugo Winter, Natural Hazards Research Engineer
“I'm responsible for leading the activity on extreme weather, coastal flooding, climate change and hazard combinations within EDF Energy R&D UK. My expertise concerns using statistical models to estimate the probability of extreme weather events such as floods, extreme winds and heatwaves as well as combinations of multiple hazards."
We're based across four locations:
We're growing as a centre with:
- 60 full time researchers
- 40 PhD students
- Over 15 different nationalities
We're made up of five different teams:
- Smart Customers
- Digital Innovation
- Open Innovation
We have funding from:
- EDF Energy Business Units
- EDF Group
- Corporate Activities
- Public Funding in the UK and Europe
EDF Energy R&D UK has numerous Academic Institution partners including: Imperial College London, the University of Manchester, the University of Bristol, University College London and the University of Strathclyde.
In 2016, we held a Postgraduate Researcher Event (PRE 2016) in collaboration with these institutions.
With Industry partners such as, National Nuclear Laboratory, Hitachi, Met Office, Rolls-Royce, Energy Technologies Institute and Big Innovation Centre, we strive to create innovative and reliable partnerships that deliver value and facilitate collaboration.
We also work with our Innovation Accelerator, Blue Lab; harnessing the latest technologies, developing energy services and testing the new business models of tomorrow.
EDF Energy R&D UK collaborates with numerous Public Organisations. For example, the BOSS project is an Innovate UK technology innovation project led by us, in partnership with York City Council and two Small and Medium Enterprises Route Monkey and Connected Energy, a subsidiary of Future Transport Systems. The project explores a system that enables site-based optimisation of energy usage and exploitation of off-peak energy tariffs.
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