Concrete Futures Lecture: Concrete innovation for renewable energy

Recorded:Wednesday 09 June 2021
Presented by:Elaine Toogood, Head of Architecture, The Concrete Centre
CPD:1 hours

Decarbonising the UK's electricity supply is fundamental to achieving net zero carbon commitments and increasing the availability of renewable energy forms a vital part of that commitment. 

This Concrete Futures lecture showcases innovations that have the potential to support the effective supply of zero carbon energy including wind, wave, gravity, and kinetic solutions. It also explores the use of concrete structure as a smart thermal store to help address the challenges of intermittent energy supply and improve its efficiency. 

Featured Presentations: 

Welcome
Elaine Toogood - Head of Architecture, The Concrete Centre 

Elaine will provide a snap shot of numerous projects, design approaches and innovative concrete products that can help support the supply of renewable energy in the UK.  

CREATE (Concrete as a Technology Enabler)
Karoline Lende - Chartered Engineer in the Advanced Digital Engineering group, Arup 

This presentation covers CREATE (Concrete as a Technology Enabler); a research project funded by Wave Energy Scotland, aiming to demonstrate that concrete can enable cost reduction in wave energy converters. Arup has developed structural designs of two floating concrete wave energy converters, demonstrating a reduction up to 20% in Levelised Cost of Energy.

The project has involved evaluating different concrete construction techniques, including in-situ and precast methods, and full-scale testing of a precast joint to demonstrate water-tightness. The findings of the study have been consolidated within an online digital tool, Convex, to allow wave energy developers to explore the use of concrete in their device designs, and enable wider adoption of concrete in the wave energy sector as it moves towards commercialisation.

Energy Storage Towers 
Davide Zampini - Head of Global R&D, Cemex

A pioneering gravity fed energy storage system has been developed by Energy Vault using the kinetic energy in a tower of moving blocks with the first prototype in operation. In this presentation Davide explains the principles behind this new method of renewable energy production, and the innovation taking place in Cemex’s Research and Development centre to create new forms of concrete to ensure the right balance of cost, durability and sustainability credentials.

Duration: 1 hour 

Download Concrete Futures: Hidden Powers article

Switching to a completely renewable power grid presents today’s engineers with a range of fascinating challenges. Tony Whitehead gets to grips with two developing solutions for capturing and storing energy from nature.