Scottish wind turbine scientists will be lending their expertise to a project aimed at developing better ways to store renewable energy.

SPIRE 2 is a £6 million cross-border initiative in the UK being funded by the EU's INTERREG VA programme, led by Ulster University.

A University of Strathclyde team, led by Professor Margaret Stack, has now been awarded £1.1 million to recruit five PhD researchers to study erosion and corrosion of wind and tidal turbines.

Strathclyde has unique erosion and wear testing facilities, which are specifically focused on climatic evaluation for wind turbine structures.

Prof Stack said: "Wear, erosion and corrosion of materials and surface coatings can limit the performance of renewable energy devices and ultimately energy efficiency.

"The research findings from this project will provide a road map of performance based on laboratory simulation of materials degradation from experimental testing and computational modelling which will inform energy storage models as part of the overall SPIRE 2 project."

University of Strathclyde scientists were the first to link the use of weather maps for materials testing for wind turbines and also recently completed a tidal turbine erosion project.

This cross-border scheme aims to develop a range of consumer-owned energy storage devices to help meet current and future electricity market needs.

It follows the UK Government's announcement of a complete transformation of how energy will be generated, stored and used in future.

Prof Neil Hewitt, of Ulster University, said: "Within SPIRE 2, the role of Strathclyde in understanding of long term weather-related impacts on the performance of wind and marine renewable energy systems is very important.

"Ulster University and the rest of the partners look forward to working with Strathclyde as they bring immense expertise in life-time performance of wind and marine energy systems."