University of Malta

Offshore Renewable Energy
UOM Main Page
Apply - Admissions 2016
Follow the Faculty...


While the Maltese territorial waters are enormous, the deep waters present a number of engineering challenges for exploiting renewable energy offshore. The following summarizes research activities related to marine-based renewable energy in deep sea conditions.

Aerodynamics of Floating Wind Turbines:Floating support platforms offer a lower stiffness to wind turbines that fixed structures mounted on the sea bed. Computational fluid dynamicsand wind tunnel measurementsareusedtoassess the influence of wave-induced platform motion on the aerodynamic performanceand the near wake physics of floating turbines. 

Design of Offshore Support Structures:Analysis of deep water structures is conducted through the various software packages including ANSYS and DNV BLADED, enabling design optimisation for Central Mediterranean conditions.  Applications include deep offshore support structuresfor wind turbines and wind measurement masts.

Offshore Wind and Thermocline Energy Production: The sea temperature below thermocline formations deviates considerably from ambient temperatures observed in the onshore urban environment in coastal countries with warm climates. New offshore floating technology capable of concurrently exploiting offshore wind resources in conjunction with the renewable thermal energy resources stored in deep seas may offer opportunities to reduce costs of floating wind farms.  This forms the basis of a new concept, being referred to as Offshore Wind and Thermocline Energy Production (OWTEP) concept, currently being researched.  The concept is based on the application of wind turbinespumpingcold deep sea-water across a pipeline under pressure to a land-based plant consisting of a hydro-electric plant and heat exchanger, enabling the combined generation of electricity and use of the deep sea water as a superior heat sink for district cooling applications.


Funded Projects


Selected Publications

  • Buhagiar, D. and Sant, T.,Steady-State Analysis of a Conceptual Offshore Wind Turbine Driven Electricity and Thermocline Energy Extraction Plant,Renewable Energy, Volume 68, August 2014, Pages 853–867,
  • Farrugia, R., Sant, T. and Micallef, D.,Investigating the Aerodynamic Performance of a Model Offshore Floating Wind Turbine,Renewable Energy, January 2014, published online
  • Sant, T., Buhagiar D. and Farrugia, R.N.,Offshore Floating Wind Turbine-driven Deep Sea Water Pumping for Combined Electrical Power and District Cooling,Journal of Physics, Conference Series, 524 012074
  • Sant, T., Bonnici, D., Farrugia, R. and Micallef, D.,Measurements and Modelling of the power Performance of a Model Floating Wind Turbine under Controlled Conditions,Wind Energy, published online 31st Mar 2014, DOI: 10.1002/we.1730.
  • Gauci, T., Sant, T., Muscat, M., Mollicone, P., Camilleri, D.,An Investigation of Different Offshore Wind Turbine Jacket Support Foundation Models Designed for Central Mediterranean Deep Waters,Wind Engineering, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2013, pg. 229-24.
  • Fenech, L., Sant, T., Muscat, M.,Design and Cost Evaluation of a Deep Water Support Structure for a Wind Turbine in Central Mediterranean Waters’,Proceedings from the European Wind Energy Conference, Brussels, March 2011.



  • Aquilina, M, Sant T. and Farrugia, R.N.,Cost Modelling of Floating Wind Farms with Upscaled Rotors in Maltese Waters,Annual Seminar organised by the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Malta, March 2014.
  • Buhagiar, D. and Sant, T.,Combining Offshore Wind and Thermocline Energy Production: Going Beyond Electrical Generation,European Wind Energy Conference in Barcelona, March 2014.
  • Buhagiar, D., Sant T,Performance Analysis of a Wind Turbine Driven Swash Plate Pump for Large-Scale Offshore Applications,Phys.: Conf. Ser. 555 012016, doi:10.1088/1742-6596/555/1/012016.
  • Sant, T. and Farrugia, R.N.,Modelling the Energy Yield Enhancement from a Wind Turbine at a Deep Offshore Low Wind Site through Combined Power and Thermocline Energy Production,J. Sol. Energy Eng. 137(1), 011002 (Jul 29, 2014)
  • R. Farrugia, T. Sant, D. Micallef,Investigating the Aerodynamic Performance of an Offshore Floating Wind Turbine,International Conference of Aerodynamics of Offshore Wind Energy Systems and Wakes, ICOWES 2013, Lyngby, June 2013
  • Buhagiar, D., Sant, T,Analysis of a stand-alone hydraulic offshore wind turbine coupled to a pumped water storage facility,Annual Seminar organised by the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Malta, March 2013
  • Sant, T, Farrugia, R.N.,Performance modelling of an offshore floating wind turbine-driven deep sea water extraction system for combined power and thermal energy production: a case study in a central Mediterranean context,Proceedings of the ASME 32nd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, Nantes, June 2013.
  • Xuereb A., Spiteri Staines C., Mule` Stagno L., Sant T, Drago A.,Analysis of the potential of a wave energy conversion system for the Maltese waters,Annual Seminar organised by the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Malta, March 2013.
  • T.Gauci, M.Muscat, T.Sant, P.Mollicone, D.Camilleri,An investigation of different offshore wind turbine jacket support foundation models designed for Central Mediterranean deep waters,Offshore wind and other marine renewable energies in Mediterramean and European seas, OWEMES 2012 conference proceedings,pp.89 – 101, 5th – 7th September 2012, Rome
  • Agius, S. and Sant, T.,Insight into the Unsteady Aerodynamics of Floating Wind Turbines with Tension Leg Platforms (TLP) Using a Blade-Element Momentum (BEM) Based Model,proceedings from the 9th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Malta, July 2012.
  • Bonnici, D., Sant T,Analysis of Hot-Wire Anemometer Measurements in the Near Wake of a Model Floating Wind Turbine Rotor,Proceedings from the conference Science of Making Torque from Wind 2012, Oldenburg, October 2012
  • Buhagiar, D., Sant T,Performance Analysis of a Wind Turbine Driven Swash Plate Pump for Large-Scale Offshore Applications,Proceedings from the conference Science of Making Torque from Wind 2012, Oldenburg, October 2012.
  • Gauci, T., Muscat, M., Sant, T., Mollicone, P., Camilleri, D.,Ultimate State Design of a Deep Water Offshore Wind Turbine Support Structure for the Central Mediterranean Region,Proceedings from the European Offshore Wind Conference 2011, Amsterdam.
  • Ghisaura, U., Brizzolara, S., De Marco, C., Sant, T.,Experimental and Numerical Analysis of the Wave Loads on a Floating Wind Turbine Platform in Extreme Sea Conditions,Proceedings from the European Offshore Wind Conference 2011, Amsterdam.
  • Sant, T.,Bonnici, D., Agius, S. Micallef, D.,Performance and Motion Analysis of Model Floating Wind Turbines Tested in a Wind Tunnel/Wave Generating Facility,Proceedings from the European Offshore Wind Conference 2011, Amsterdam.
  • Farrugia, R.N., Deidun, A, Debono, G., Mallia E., Sant T,The Potential and Constraints of Wind Farm Development at Near-shore Sites in the Maltese Islands,Wind Engineering, Vol 34, No. 1, Jan 2010



Last Updated: 4 May 2015

Log In back to UoM Homepage