Renewable Energy Engineering Facility (REEF)

The Renewable Energy Engineering Facility (REEF) has been developed to enhance teaching facilities for the application of engineering principles to clean energy technologies.

The building has been designed to allow students to directly experience and practice a number of clean energy technologies, including measuring wind speed and energy, measuring bio-diesel efficiency and understanding the electrical output of a solar panel under actual sunlight.

The facility houses a mechanical workshop and wet laboratory, where experimental apparatus can be developed and repaired, as well as learning about subjects including sustainable fuels, flow batteries and dye solar cell production.  In addition this building allows students access to actual data from the weather station on the roof of the building. It also links to solar panels on the roof to enable performance monitoring of these technologies.

The building also has a ground source heat pump which heats the space and is fully instrumented, to act as a teaching facility in its own right. A water basin has also been designed to allow hydro turbines to be mounted above it to test waves and tidal basins.

The facility also creates an opportunity to study energy demand across our Penryn campus and in the long term the aim is to link to the energy metering installed across campus to enable students to study energy management and optimization with a view to creating an energy management centre with the potential to save capital and running costs.

The building was constructed to demonstrate the very best environmental practice in its design and operation, and has since received a BREEAM rating of excellent, for sustainability.