High voltage technology
High voltage research has been an integral part of the work of the Department since the 1950s when the first laboratory was opened at the University.
The National Grid High Voltage Research Centre is now home to the largest HV laboratory of any UK university and is capable of testing equipment designed for use on the 400 kV power system.
Research work in the facility is split into a number of areas. Particular areas of competency include transformer insulation and monitoring, polymeric insulation and power system transients. We develop condition monitoring and lifetime assessment techniques for ageing power system plant infrastructure, study all the technical issues related to application of novel insulation materials in power system plant, and participate into technology innovation for aerospace applications.
We are experts in this field and cover all aspects related to high voltage technology.
Some specific areas we focus on are:
Transformers are critical for electricity distribution and are found at all voltage levels. We understand the best ways to design these assets, as well as developing new ways to analyse how they are ageing and estimating their lifetime to ensure strategic maintenance deployment.
Electricity demand is still increasing worldwide, with a greater need to get more power to more people. This needs new and better insulators to withstand the higher voltages required for the huge transmission of power. We are at the forefront of developing and testing these new materials.
Future energy networks will comprise of millions of assets and devices. Monitoring their condition in real time means we know if we can push these devices further if we need to during emergencies, or we can predict when they will fail. We are developing the solutions to do this.