Heriot-Watt selected for offshore solutions



Heriot-Watt has been selected by the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre to work with commercial partners on two high-profile projects that will develop innovative technology with offshore applications. 

Dr Nick Bennett, from Heriot-Watt's Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering, will lead a project with Exnics Ltd to develop a thermoelectric generator (TEG) to support its hot rings system, which works to harness the heat from subsea pipelines and convert it into DC electrical power. The bespoke TEG will improve the performance of the product in future deployment and will increase the range of applications where power from waste heat can be used.  

Dr Danmei Sun, assistant professor in Textile Materials and Engineering in the School of Textiles and Design, and Professor David Bucknall, professor of Materials Chemistry in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, will work with Iron Ocean Limited to develop a survival garment that will improve the chances of survival in the event of offshore workers being submerged in the sea. 

The compression fit garment will be designed to be worn under current offshore survival suits and will improve heat retention, be slash resistant, generate heat and resist fire. A coating will be designed to produce a thermal reaction to provide warmth to the wearer with the reaction lasting at least one hour. 

Ian Phillips, chief executive of OGIC, said, “The Exnics project is an example of where further research is being done to enhance new technology, which is already being tested on the market. This technology has the potential to offer cost reductions to companies and a number of operators have already noted interest in the technology.

“The Iron Ocean project has the potential to improve health and safety in the industry and save lives.

Dr Danmei Sun said, “Heriot-Watt delivers research-led innovation to commercial and industrial partners across the globe, and we're proud tdano have been selected by OGIC for this latest project round. 

“The two projects showcase what's unique about Heriot-Watt University. We're as expert in engineering new subsea thermoelectric generators as we are in developing new textiles that have life-saving applications.” 

OGIC is an innovation support organisation that helps companies to access research and development capability within Scotland's university community. By matching companies with the appropriate academic partners and co-funding projects, OGIC accelerates innovation to address the oil and gas industry's exploration, production and decommissioning challenges.

OGIC's work directly contributes to the twin goals of maximising economic recovery from the UK continental shelf and supporting the development of the supply chain through bringing new products and services to the UK and international markets.