Electrical Power and Power Electronics
The Group is proud to be accommodated in a large laboratory suite (comprising of three dedicated laboratories) that has recently seen a £1M refurbishment. There are a wide range of laboratory resources and specialist equipment including; a 400 kV test facility, a 3000 amp pulsed power generator, a large battery charge/discharge unit designed for fork-lift truck and submarine batteries, a large scale wind turbine simulator, a 40 kW solar panel installation, a range of electrical machine test facilities up to 100 kW, including a high speed turbo-generator, and magnetic and electrostatic modelling and CAD facilities. In support of the battery recharging work, the Group has access to our in-house electron-microscopy suite. For further information relating to power electronics, machines and drives, please contact Dr. Paul Lefley.
High Powered and Ultra-fast Battery Recharging
The purpose of this research is to investigate and develop new ways of rapidly recharging batteries by taking into account the electrochemistry and physical effects of rapid recharging on the battery. The Group has had considerable success in developing a new ultra-fast charging technique using pulsed power electronics to enable lead-acid batteries to be rapidly charged without overcharging, excessive gassing, or overheating. A real-time electronic charge management system prevents overcharging by controlling the rate at which the charge pulses are injected. This system substantially reduces gassing until a level of almost 90% state of charge is reached. A 24 kW charger (See picture) has been developed to rapidly recharge large battery installations of between 24 to 72 volts at 800 Ahr capacities in under an hour.