Research facilities

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.

High voltage engineering

The largest HV lab has a floor area of 500m2 and includes a 2MV impulse generator, a 800kV AC cascade resonance test set, a 600kV DC test set, a 300kV AC test set and the latest numerical control, instrumentation and monitoring system. 

The other laboratories include 300kV DC test set, a 150kV AC test set and various other DC and AC HV test facilities. Environmental chambers and a salt fog chamber allow the assessment of insulation performance under a wide variety of conditions.

Dielectric materials

The NGPSRC contains a dedicated dielectric materials laboratory in which insulation materials can be pre-processed under various conditions,  including in a vacuum or a humidity controlled environment. The dielectric laboratory contains a variety of diagnostic equipment to test the physical, chemical and dielectric properties of insulation materials, including a HIAC 8000A Particle Counter, Metrohm Karl Fisher Titrator and Acidity Titrator, Brookfield Viscometer and Dielectric Constant Tan Delta and Resistivity Tester. In addition, long-term accelerated thermal ageing tests on insulation materials can be carried out using a series of air-circulating and vacuum ovens.

Protection and control

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.
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