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Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory

Research activities

Our research spans a wide range of themes in electric power engineering, focused primarily on experimentation supported by theoretical modelling and simulation studies

Advanced materials

The development of new advanced materials is of global interest, as we develop the capability to 'design' a dielectric from the ground up to have specific properties tailored for high voltage applications. It is also important for widely applied insulation materials to have minimal environmental impact, and we work on more sustainable alternatives to existing insulation systems. 

  • Insulation system development and characterisation 
  • Sustainable Bio-based polymers development and testing
  • Composites with tailored properties design, manufacturing and assessment
  • Characterisation and type testing of electrical properties (AC/DC breakdown, conductivity and permittivity), thermal behaviour (TGA, DSC, thermal conductivity), chemical structure (FTIR and Raman-spectroscopy), and mechanical properties (Tensile strength and hot set test) for dielectric materials. 

Condition monitoring

The operating condition and health of transmission and distribution assets is of great importance to ensure both security and quality of supply. Our interests span a range of high and medium voltage plants.

  • Cable circuits (buried, in ducts, tunnels and subsea)
  • Substation Equipment (transformers, circuit breakers, secondary equipment etc.)
  • Data driven approaches for determining asset health
  • Rail OLE components

Electric grid operation

We specialize in studying and addressing operational challenges of the electric grid with special focus on its decarbonization.

  • Renewable energy resources modelling and control
  • Integration of renewables and power electronics into the electric grid
  • Power system stability and control
  • Static and dynamic power system state estimation

High voltage engineering

Our interests cover the design and operation of a wide range of high voltage systems, including power networks, transport systems and bespoke HV circuits.

  • Transmission and distribution high voltage plant
  • Insulation systems and clearances for railway electrification
  • Circuit breakers and current control / interruptions
  • Specialised power supply design

Modelling and simulation

Our research has pioneered new ways of simulating power system components to support design and monitoring applications.

  • Thermal, electromagnetic and mechanical modelling of cable systems
  • Determining the impact of environmental factors on high voltage plant
  • Constructing bespoke simulations of real-world installations to determine ampacity requirements
  • Atmospheric plasma modelling (thermal arcs, dielectric breakdown, dielectric barrier discharges)
  • Lightning damage in complex structures (aircraft joints, wind turbine blades)
  • High-temperature superconductors in power systems

Plasma and space science

Plasma plays an important role in modern science and technology. Our interests are primarily in applied plasma science with a focus on their application to space electric propulsion and power distribution systems.

  • Vacuum and low-pressure systems
  • Atmospheric pressure plasmas in gases and liquids