In 2003 the University of Manchester established a strategic alliance with National Grid, the owner and operator of the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales.
The National Grid Power Systems Research Centre
Today the two organisations work collaboratively on a range of mutually beneficial activities. The University is the home to the National Grid Power Systems Research Centre, which includes the largest and best-equipped high voltage laboratory in the UK.
The University also provides professional education to enhance the development and skills of National Grid employees.
The partnership aims to
- strengthen National Grid’s research capabilities and
- develop real commercial solutions at a time of great change for the electrical network.
Collaborative projects include
- innovative research into overhead line designs to minimise visual impact;
- environmental improvements to power system equipment;
- high voltage direct current (HVDC) networks;
- work on systems operation as smart grid technologies begin to penetrate the system;
- improvements to modern protection and control systems to reduce the risk of failures.
We also have research expertise in transformer design, high voltage DC systems, flexible energy network investment and wide area network monitoring.
One of the salient projects is the development of electrically insulating composite cross-arm for transmission towers, which received IET innovation Award in 2012.