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The University of Southampton

Energy and Climate Change

Energy is related to all aspects of human activity. Our research encompasses the entire energy pathway from (i) the understanding of resources, (ii) converter technology development, (iii) the needs of users, through to (iv) the impacts of energy use such as climate change.

Our Energy and Climate Change research is linked to policy, infrastructure, resilience and adaptability. Minimising energy requirements, making the most efficient use of resources we ultimately require and reducing / eliminating their impacts is a common approach across all our research.

Our current work is essentially across ‘all scales of energy’ from the solar cell of a few watts to the 100’s kW of combustion, wave and tidal power and the multi MW scale of the city. We look at problems from fundamental, technical and applied perspectives. Increasingly, the interdisciplinary nature of energy and climate change means that many large projects are both multi-disciplinary and multi-institution bridging engineering with environmental, social and economic requirements.

IMPACT2C for example, is a major EU project investigating potential impacts and economic costs of a 2 degree global temperature rise. Here, Southampton’s work is focussed on the coastal aspects of climate change and the consequences for low-lying areas within the EU and beyond.

Technical studies of micro-grids and decentralised electricity generation are complemented by major energy studies at the user behaviour - technology interface, such as the EPSRC Replication of Rural Electrification intervention.

New metal/air technology batteries are being developed through the NECOBAUT project, linking industry and european university partners to deliver the low cost, lightweight batteries that the automotive industry requires.

Industrial scale demonstration of sustainable algae cultures for biofuel production is being undertaken via an EU FP7 project. This is just one of many projects which link to our research in combustion, gasification and multiphase flow.

Pure technical challenges of course remain, such as the development of superconducting cables for power transmission at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider which is being undertaken by the Institute of Cryogenics.

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Research Areas


Clean Combustion and Carbon Capture

Climate Change and Coasts

Energy and Buildings

Automotive Engineering

Energy Technology Research Group

Fuel Cells and Batteries

Photovoltaics and Microgrids

Wave and Tidal

Our researchers have access to a wide range of specialist facilities and equipment including: 

  • 8m and 12.5m wave flumes with glass sides and floor, wavemakers with active absorption.
  • 21m and 14m tilting open channels, both with provision for studying sediment transport.
  • High speed velocity and turbulence measurement equipment for use in circulation water tanks.
  • Water wheel test tank.
  • Performance and power simulation facilities for Marine Current Energy Converters.
  • Computer based modelling system of tidal currents.
  • Multiphase flow laboratory
  • Engines Laboratory
  • Computational resources for reacting and multi-phase flow
  • High resolution Infra-Red buildings physics camera (1.2 MP InfraTec VarioCam)
  • Holographic Optical Element Test Facade
  • Accelerated Lifetime Testing Rig for Electric Connectors
  • Simulation Facilities
  • Measurement of Indoor Environments
  • Climate Change Weather File Generation Tools
  • Daylight factor analysis
  • Potentiostats and Galvanostats,
  • Electronic loads
  • Fuel cell rig
  • Electrochemical cells, pumps and rigs
  • Hydrogen adsorption
  • Rotating cylinder and disc electrodes
  • Flow cells for electrolysis and batteries and Zero resistance ammeter
  • Solar simulator for I-V characterisation of solar cells
  • 7.2 kWp vertical PV façade of 24 strings to enable mismatch studies
  • Accelerated lifetime testing, light soaking rig with temperature controlled stage
  • PV roof tile (shingle) array for temperature profiling
  • Inverter test facility for G59, G77 testing

If you are interested in joining us either to study or to become part of our research team please select the relevant link below for further information.

Funded PhD Opportunities

Postgraduate Taught Courses

Current job vacancies at the University of Southampton 

Take a look at our brochure

Key Publications

List of related projects to
Related ProjectsStatusType
Quantifying projected impacts under 2°C warming (IMPACT2C)DormantOther
(E4D) Replication of Rural Decentralised off-grid Electricity Generation through Technology and Business InnovationDormantOther
Detecting leaks from undersea gas pipelines, seabed methane reserves, and carbon capture and storage facilitiesActiveOther
Reactive multiphase granular flowActiveOther
Optimisation of Carbon Capture and Storage TechnologiesActiveOther
All-Gas: Industrial scale demonstration of sustainable algae cultures for biofuel productionActiveOther
(Liveable Cities)Transforming the Engineering of Cities to Deliver Societal and Planetary WellbeingDormantOther
Community Based Initiatives in Energy SavingDormantOther
Transforming Energy Demand through Digital Innovation - Intelligent Agents for Home Energy ManagementDormantOther
Census 2022: Transforming Small Area Socio-Economic Indicators through ‘Big Data’ ActiveOther
DEMAND: Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand ActiveOther
The distribution and dynamics of UK citizens’ environmental attitudes, behaviours and actions ActiveOther
International Centre for Infrastructure Futures (ICIF) DormantOther
Feasibility Study of the Impacts of Proposed Tidal Array Installations in Channel IslandsDormantOther
Reactive multiphase granular flowActiveOther
Optimisation of Carbon Capture and Storage TechnologiesActiveOther
Can we maintain efficient energy supplies? Adaptation and Resilience of Coastal Energy Supply (ARCoES)DormantOther
CLIMSAVE - Climate change integrated assessment methodology for cross-sectoral adaptation and vulnerability in EuropeDormantOther
ESPA Deltas DormantOther
iCOASST - integrating coastal sediment systemsDormantOther
Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC)DormantOther
Quantifying projected impacts under 2°C warming (IMPACT2C)ActiveOther
Quantifying projected impacts under high end climate change (RISES-AM-)DormantOther
Shipping in changing climatesActiveOther
The impact of tide gates on fish migrationActiveOther
THESEUS: Innovative technologies for safe European coasts in a changing climateDormantOther
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