Next Generation Of Energy Distribution


The majority of power distribution today is via the electrical grid, which relies on copper (or aluminum) cables within an iron sheath. Unfortunately, over 10% of the power transmitted is lost due in the main to resistive heating effects within the cables. To compensate for each 200 MW of line loss another coal plant has to be on-line. Furthermore, because of limits in grid capacity, wind turbines are turned off because the excess electricity cannot be transported as needed. Questions over the future of the grid are vital for the successful implementation of green energy generation (solar, wave, wind). Projects involving new materials for grid distributions, development of new power conversion technology, PV emulator system, power electronic/power system capability.

Research Projects

  • From Bin to Bulb : turning waste plastic into electricity conductors - Plastic waste is a big problem worldwide so how about using it to conduct electricity.This project started at Swansea University looks at how to turn waste plastic into other usable materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene and carbon fibre.
  • Flexible Integrated Energy Systems (FLEXIS) - Develop an energy systems research capability in Wales which will build on the world class capability that already exists in Welsh universities.
  • Controlled modification of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for the preparation of high added-value copper-CNTs composites by electrodeposition - This is a mobility grant from the British Council, Alliance Hubert Currien Programme, to allow reciprocal visits to University of Lorraine to strengthen the ongoing collaboration. The project is to develop methods for chemical modification of CNTs to improve their dispersion in Cu containing media for more efficient co-electrodeposition of Cu-CNT composites. The main beneficiaries of such novel materials are power sector and transport industry where Cu-CNT composites would provide lighter and more efficient transportation of electrical energy. 
  • Copper-carbon nanotube ultraconductive wire (UCC) - Improvement in conductivity and ampacity of copper for power distribution.
  • Carbon nanotubes for electricity transmission - Collaborative workshop on carbon nanotube synthesis and nanotube fibres to discuss this research sector.
  • Ultraconductive copper-carbon nanotube wire – Enhancing electrical performance, achieving processing reproducibility, and ensuring stability.
  • Magnetic Field Controlled Switching Device for Power IC Technology (M+Power) - Development of FinFET compatible integrated magnetic sensor.
  • Power Electronic Power System Laboratory (PEPS) – Building power electronic/power system capability.
  • Solar Photovoltaic Academic Research Consortium (SPARC II) – Development of novel power conversion technology; Development of PV emulator systems.
  • Integration technology for a current sensor and inductor for automotive applications in GaN (ITSIA) - Development of novel GaN technology for power applications.

Research Funding

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