Higher Voltage Aerospace Systems - As aircraft are using more and more electrical power, it is desirable that voltages increase to minimise the weight involved with the use of high current conductors. Work is underway to examine the design and long term reliability of various forms of electrical distribution systems and components in an aerospace environment. We have completed a number of projects in this area and the research work has led to the development of SAE AIR6127 and has seen us test a number of systems in use on the Boeing 787 / Airbus A350.
Higher Voltage Power Electronics - The increasing use of power electronics in systems as diverse as marine, rail, aerospace and power systems themselves means that the voltages of power electronic modules is continually increasing. We have carried out a range of work in the area of partial discharge performance of power electronic systems including work on IGBT modules, the circuit boards / coatings used in such systems and in partial discharge monitoring.
Power System Transients - These have a fundamental impact on the way in which the power system is designed and operated. Studies are examining the ability to minimise substation size through careful control of transients and the effect of power system transients on parallel structures such as pipelines.
Power System Plant - Current projects include an examination of the feasibility of using composite crossarms on overhead line towers to reduce visual impact and increase reliability. We are also looking at means of reducing SF6 usage within the transmission system.