Skip to main content

Renewable Engineering staff with Prof Dave Hosken, Mayor of Falmouth, Cllr Grenville Chappel, Deputy Mayor of Penryn Charles Wenmouth and Tracey Hart

Pioneering new Renewable Energy facility opens on Penryn Campus

A pioneering new renewable energy teaching and research centre has officially opened on the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall.

The £1.77m Renewable Energy Engineering Facility (REEF) provides dedicated workshop and laboratory space for individual and small group student research projects in Renewable Energy. 

Part-funded by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) and match funded by the University of Exeter capital investment, the REEF facility enhances the University’s teaching facilities for clean energy technologies. 

It is designed to give students the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge gained in lectures for a number of clean energy technologies, such as measuring a real wind speed as is required for a wind energy project development, measuring how well an engine runs on bio-diesel or to see the electrical output of a solar panel under actual sunlight.

The facility was officially opened at a recent ceremony, attended by the Mayor of Falmouth and Deputy Mayor of Penryn, as well as VIPs, staff and students.  Martyn Haywood, a retired University of Exeter lecturer in Renewable Engineering, who named the building, cut the ribbon to officially open the building.

Richard Cochrane, Director of Education for Renewable Energy says: “The REEF will be a fantastic addition to the teaching facilities that support our Renewable Energy programmes.  As well as providing a well-equipped modern workshop to enable students to design, make and test their engineering knowledge, the building itself is an exciting teaching aid providing data on real operational renewable energy technologies that the students can study and run experiments on.

“The workshop is equipped with traditional mechanical engineering tools and the latest 3D printing, CNC machining, electronic and electrical equipment. As well as experiments on the solar panels and heat pump that run the building, students will be involved with an energy storage demonstrator.

“There are also plans for solar thermal, anaerobic digestion and energy efficiency studies on or around the building.”

The new facility was built in accordance with the Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) -   the world's first sustainability rating scheme for the built environment. 

The REEF building obtained a BREEAM Excellent rating on completion, which puts it in the top 10% of all new buildings and in the ‘Best Practice’ category as set by the Building Research Establishment.

Professor David Hosken, Dean for Strategic Development in Cornwall said, “Working in conjunction with Renewable Energy staff and students and with support from HEFCE we have built a dedicated Renewable Energy Engineering Facility to further enhance the world-class experience of our renewables students in Penryn.”

Date: 1 May 2018