Buildings as Power Stations – Hybrid Energy Solution

Key Information

Climate change and the need to manage diminishing fossil fuel reserves are, today, two of the biggest challenges facing the planet.  In order to secure the future for ourselves and generations to follow, it is widely accepted that we must act now to reduce energy consumption and substantially cut greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. 

Energy efficiency and renewable energy are component parts of the answer, not only to climate change, but obtaining secure, future energy resources as well. As one of the key renewable energy sources wind and solar power are freely available, infinite natural resources that most of the countries in the world can use to generate electricity.

Based in South Wales, Crossflow Energy has developed a ground breaking new wind turbine. Founded in 2007 the company has completed extensive research and development which has delivered a Prototype design for a robust product. Advanced Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modelling using Swansea University’s world-renowned CFD expertise has been validated by the performance of our large-scale Proof of Concept (‘PoC’) model, and in a series of wind tunnel tests of scale models at the world renowned MIRA testing facility.

SPECIFIC is an Innovation and Knowledge Centre based within Swansea University’s College of Engineering. It is a collaborative project with partners from academia, industry and government working together towards a shared vision of ’buildings as power stations’: buildings that can generate, store and release their own energy.

The Crossflow Turbine offers a lower visual and noise profile and lower radar signature. It is also able to operate in extreme conditions and will continue to generate power in even the most turbulent wind conditions, making it ideally placed as part of a building integrated hybrid-energy solution.

Project Aims

Buildings as Power Stations: To define the methodology to be used on any site to achieve an economic analysis of co-siting generation technologies, specifically solar and crossflow wind, with battery storage, in meeting the power requirements of a mid-rise building

On the basis that using solar and wind energy generation technologies to power and heat a building without connecting to existing services, will (further) reduce the cost and time for installation, reduce running costs, and makes it suitable for sites with no or limited grid connection


·       Establish for site on an hourly basis: Annual Building consumption data; Annual Solar irradiance data; Annual Wind data

·       Establish resultant battery capacity required to allow for fluctuation in input in order to satisfy the building energy demand.

·       Taking into account the Capex and Opex of each technology, optimise the balance of input components to achieve lowest cost of energy for building.


Output: Economic analysis model for co-siting generation technologies in meeting the power requirements of a mid-rise building

Suitable candidate

This project would be suitable for someone with a degree in chemistry, physics, or materials engineering.

Academic Supervisor

Dr P Jones


Sponsoring Company Crossflow Energy

Candidates should hold an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree with a minimum classification level of 2:1 or equivalent relevant experience.

Our funders require applicants to also meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a UK or EU citizen (i.e. eligible for ‘home’ tuition fees at the University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of your studies.
  • You must be resident in West Wales and the Valleys at the point of enrolment and throughout the duration of your studies.
  • You must not be financially able to participate without the award of grant funding.

Further information regarding eligibility criteria can be found at: http://www.materials-academy.co.uk/eligibility


The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £12,500 p.a.


Closing Date 28 February 2018

Start Date October 2017

Apply Now

Informal enquiries about this studentship are welcome and may be directed by email to: M2A@swansea.ac.uk