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Power and Control Systems

Our economy is dependent of the effective conversion of different forms of primary energy into electrical energy. With the onset of radical carbon reduction targets, there is an urgent need to develop energy efficient devices and control strategies for energy conversion, drives and management to reduce the demand for energy.

The Power and Control Systems Research Group (PCSR) is led by Dr Jihong Wang. The research areas of the group include: modelling, condition monitoring and control of power systems; energy efficient systems and actuators; applications of power electronics and clean power generation; and nonlinear control theory and industrial applications. The test facilities will be used to develop energy efficient actuators for compressed air energy storage systems. These devices could be deployed for a variety of applications including combined heat and power plants, fuel cells and engines.

The newly refurbished state-of-the-art laboratory has three sets of test facilities available for use:

  1. Multi-purpose energy efficient pneumatic drive test rig. The rig can be used to test dynamic performance, energy efficiency, and other mechatronic characteristics of pneumatic actuators when they are used as drives for motion control or for an air-electricity transformer. It also hosts an on-going research project in recycling exhaust energy.
  2. Hybrid renewable power generation test system. The system serves as a flexible test bed for research in renewable power generation in hybrid connection with energy storage systems. A research project in hybrid wind turbine systems is currently on-going.
  3. Real-time control development system. The system can be used for prototyping new optimal control strategies through hardware-in-loop simulations.
  4. Modelling and simulation of power plants. Models of large scale power plants will enable low carbon technologies to be evaluated and new control strategies developed for optimisation.