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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K008552/2
Principal Investigator: Cao, Professor W
Other Investigators:
Mecrow, Professor BC Widmer, Dr J Pickert, Professor V
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Dyson Technology
Department: Sch of Electronics, Elec Eng & Comp Sci
Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2014 Ends: 31 December 2015 Value (£): 265,738
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Electric Motor & Drive Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Energy is one of the major issues at the top of the national policy agenda. Energy Efficiency is key to meeting the national targets set by the UK government and by international treaty to reduce CO2 emissions. Electrical Motors and Drives are the driving force in industry and economy. The two areas are amongst the small number of "grow" areas identified by EPSRC's shaping capability agenda. Similarly, Power Electronics is widely recognised as one of the UK's key and high-growth technologies owing to its pivotal role in delivering low-carbon technologies. For the last several decades, the UK has been leading the way internationally in developing high performance power conversion devices but further improvement in performance calls for accurate validation tools. At Newcastle as well as in the UK, we presently rely on input-output methods to test PM machine drives and power electronics, which proved to lack precision for highly efficient ones. This limitation hampers our research activities because many cutting-edge technologies of importance to the UK, leading to impact in the aerospace, automotive and domestic applications, require high-efficiency motors and drives. To date we cannot accurately validate our numerical models in which the prediction and achievement of very low losses can make the difference between success and failure of a concept. Typically, uncertainties tend to be greater than 2% of system efficiency which may be more than the total predicted loss in the system. As a result, there is a pressing need for a highly accurate facility to measure power losses in electric machines and power converters to an accuracy of 1-2W, which does not currently exist anywhere in the world.

This proposal addresses national and institutional strategic needs by proposing an innovative calorimeter and by examining machines' and converters' power loss models using it. To deliver this we will bring together our leading experts in calorimetry, PM machines and power electronics. Once completed the project will provide the UK (based in Newcastle) with a high-precision and versatile capability for the experimental evaluation of the power losses and efficiency of PM machines and power converters, and then improvements on these devices will follow accordingly. This proposed work will have a long-lasting impact over the next 10-50 years. It will push the boundary forward in accurate power measurement, enabling future development of key emerging industry involving high-efficiency electrical machines and PE devices that would not otherwise happen. The technologies developed from this work will be potentially applied to many applications and will contribute to the UK's competitiveness in high-performance electrical drives such as aircrafts, electric vehicles, renewables and domestic products.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.qub.ac.uk