The Electrical Energy and Power Systems Group is home to the National Grid Power Systems Research Centre (NGPSRC), the largest high voltage laboratory of any UK university. National Grid is the owner and operator of the transmission network for Great Britain, and the Centre was established in 2002 at The University of Manchester to strengthen their combined research abilities. The Electrical Energy and Power Systems group have a portfolio of research projects which utilise the NGPSRC to undertake pure and applied research of international significance, delivering solutions to the problems experienced by industry.
The largest HV laboratory has a floor area of 500 m2 and includes a 2 MV impulse generator, a 800 kV AC cascade resonance test set, a 600 kV DC test set, a 300 kV AC test set and the latest numerical control, instrumentation and monitoring system.
The other HV laboratories include a 800 kV impulse generator, a 300 kV DC test set, a 150 kV AC test set and various other DC and AC HV test facilities including a number of partial discharge (PD) detectors and dissolved gas analysis (DGA) monitors.
The dielectric materials laboratory is equipped with various material characterisation equipment including a particle counter, a Karl Fisher moisture titrator, an acidity titrator, a viscometer, a dielectric constant tan delta and resistivity tester, a vacuum evaporator and a light microscope.
In addition, a salt fog chamber, an electromagnetic screen room, an acoustic screen room and a range of environmental chambers and air-circulating/vacuum ovens allow the assessment of insulation performance under a wide variety of conditions and environments.
The protection and control laboratories house an RTDS real time digital simulator, an analogue transmission line simulator, numerous Omicron relay test sets, multiple data acquisition systems and a wide variety of protection and control equipment. In addition a wide range of specialist software and simulators support the work carried out in the laboratories and together they ensure experimental results are validated by appropriate simulations.
Two large scale test beds are currently being constructed within the laboratories:
- wide area protection and control test bed for the assessment of power system stability, dynamic, protection and control performances within the UK and Ireland.
- IEC61850 process bus architecture test bed for experiments relating to substation automation, protection and control testing using new CT and VT merging units and digital sample value concepts.