The University of Southampton

Published: 23 December 2010
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The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) have just announced funding of £4.7M for “HubNet: Research Leadership and Networking for Energy Networks” in which the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory will be playing a key part.

The award aims to develop the research agenda that will overcome the problems of improving efficiency and maintaining reliability of the UK energy supply. In addition, the Laboratory has also secured funding from the National HE Stem Programme in order to develop resources for graduate skills development within the energy industry.

Professors Lewin and Swingler are leading the Hub’s activities at Southampton which are related to ongoing research within the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory. It is planned to consider how new materials (such as nano-composite insulation and ceramic composites) can be used to design power equipment that is more efficient and compact. In addition, the management of transition assets will be considered: while a significant amount of new network equipment will need to be installed in the coming decades, this new construction is dwarfed by the existing asset base. It is thus essential to study how the life of existing equipment can be extended under what is likely to be far more extreme conditions.

“The Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory has an established international reputation for its research in the areas of new insulating materials and condition monitoring of high voltage plant”, said Professor Paul Lewin, “It is very exciting that we will be making a significant contribution to the future directions of UK research in these areas, through our involvement with HubNet”.

It is not just development of the new network and its effective operation that needs to be considered, but also the development of the next generation of Power Engineers who will design, implement, manage and maintain future networks. The high voltage laboratory has a strong record and reputation for research-led teaching and this has been recognised in an award of £150K from the National HE STEM programme for graduate skills development of the energy industry. This will provide electronic resources as work packages to graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to develop the skill sets they require for a career in the energy industry. These work packages will also be made available through the Energy and Utilities Sector Skills Council National Skills Academy for Power to the current workforce as a means to up skill recent graduates from a non-electrical engineering background or not holding a STEM degree.

“Working with members of the Tony Davis High Voltage Laboratory at the University of Southampton, we are planning a complete range of innovative electronic study resources using the latest technology to train the next generation of Power Engineers” said Professor Averil Macdonald, Regional Director of the HE STEM Programme at the University of Southampton. “Through the HE STEM Programme we will make these resources freely available to all UK HEIs as well as to power industry professionals”.

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Published: 4 January 2011
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The Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory is hosting the fourth UHVnet colloquium at the Winchester Guildhall on 18 and 19 January.

UHVnet is an informal grouping of universities set up in 2005 to further the interests of high voltage research within the United Kingdom. The university members are Cardiff, Glasgow Caledonian, Liverpool, Leicester, Manchester, Southampton, Strathclyde and Surrey. These universities are supported by a steering group which includes industrial representation from the Areva T&D Technology Centre, PPA Energy, National Grid and Narec.

The fourth UHVnet colloquium is to be hosted by the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 January. Previous UHVnet events have been held at Cardiff University, Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Manchester. This meeting will take place at Winchester Guildhall and begins with registration and poster session on the Tuesday evening to encourage a relaxed discussion of current work between early career researchers. The second day of the event will consist of oral presentations covering the following four topic areas: High Voltage Plant, Condition Monitoring, Materials and Theories, Methods and Models. Each topic will have an opening presentation by a leading researcher in the field followed by five oral presentations by early career researchers and postgraduates.

For more information about the event contact the technical chair James Pilgrim, or for registration enquiries Nicola Freebody.

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Published: 29 March 2012
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As part of Southampton University’s Multidisciplinary Research Week Litmus Project, the Tony Davies High Voltage laboratory was pleased to invite Professor Robyn Bolam from the Department of English to visit the lab and after discussion with students and staff, write a series of poems relating to the research carried out. Robyn wrote a fantastic selection of poems, each in which a specific structure (such as haiku) to represent the geometric layout of the equipment and faraday cages in the laboratory.

The Litmus project included collaborations between students from the University of Southampton Creative Writing MA course with students from a wide range of scientific areas including high voltage electricity, photonics, audiology, biological systems and complexity modelling to name but a few. The poems were read at a gathering of all Litmus project collaborators with great success. During the opening remarks, Prof. Robyn Bollam commented that her experience in the laboratory had encouraged her to view transmission towers and substations with a much greater appreciation of the exciting and complex technologies behind such equipment.

Professor Paul Lewin speaking on behalf of the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory described the benefits of engineers taking the time to view their work in a more artistic mindset rather than only communicating in a specific scientific way which we are so used to. It is hoped that exciting collaborations and communication between such traditionally different disciplines as creative writing and science/engineering will encourage a greater exchange of ideas, making scientific research more accessible to people outside of the field as well encouraging scientists and engineers to appreciate their work in a whole new way.

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Published: 20 August 2012
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A new High Voltage (HV) Laboratory situated in Zepler Building was officially opened in July. The laboratory has been fully equipped with six sets of apparatus, including AC & DC breakdown experiment with supplies of 25 kV rms and 75 kV respectively, as well as a Pulsed Electro Acoustic (PEA) space charge experiment with an applied dc voltage of 10 kV.

The HV lab is already being used by MSc students studying Energy and Sustainability with Electrical Power Engineering. There are five on-going projects, involving 10 students: •Effect of ramp rate and permittivity on AC breakdown •Partial Discharge design, measurements and instrumentation (two projects) •Liquids ageing and breakdown •High Voltage insulation systems - DC performance and space charge accumulation.

Although primarily constructed to support the dissertation element of the MSc, the lab will also be available for undergraduate electrical engineering students during term time, to introduce them to some of the basic practical concepts of high voltage engineering.

The original concept was to supply a number of standalone portable high voltage experiments for use in undergraduate teaching laboratories but incorporating these experiments into existing laboratory space was not feasible. Consequentially it was decided that a dedicated "High Voltage Teaching Laboratory" was needed and this has been created over the last six months. Construction of the various experiments took place in the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory from January to May 2012 and they were installed in the new laboratory once work had been completed by contractors.

“The concept is for stand-alone high voltage experiments that will not affect other electrical/electronic equipment within the Zepler Building,” said Dr. Ian Hosier, who was responsible for the development of this new facility.

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Published: 30 January 2015
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In late 2014, the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory (TDHVL) was granted £40,000 by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to conduct cutting-edge research on development of a modelling tool for performance optimization in pulsed plasma thrusters (Ref. EP/M506783/1). The project is jointly led by Prof. Alun Vaughan, Prof. Steve Gabriel, and Dr Igor Golosnoy from TDHVL, and supported by Mars Space Ltd, UK.

The pulsed plasma thruster (PPT), also known as plasma jet engine, is generally considered the simplest form of electric spacecraft propulsion and was the first propulsion engine utilised in space (i.e. Soviet Zond 2 probe, 1964). TDHVL has a number of experienced researchers, that means both numerical simulation and prototype testing of new devices can be conducted simultaneously, which makes the lab one of the top research institutes in this field in the UK.

The overall aim of the project is to develop a numerical model for PPTs which will allow their performance to be optimized. In detail, the project novelty lies in the approach to plasma modelling which particularly examines non-equilibrium electron distributions, cathode electron current emission, and in-sheet non-uniform electron density distributions. The first stage of the project is scheduled for 12 months and hopefully will be extended into a long-term project with further funding. This project utilises not only TDHVL’s knowledge and research ability in numerical modelling techniques, but also its research strengths in state-of-the-art plasma and space science.

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Publications

Ding, Chaohai, Wald, Mike and Wills, Gary (2013) Linked data for accessibility: from techniques to users At The IADIS International Conference on e-Society 2013, Portugal. 13 - 16 Mar 2013. 3 pp, pp. 514-516.

Ding, Chaohai, Wald, Mike and Wills, Gary (2013) Travelling for all At The IADIS International Conference on e-Society 2013, Portugal. 13 - 16 Mar 2013. 4 pp, pp. 519-522.

Ding, Chaohai, Wald, Mike and Wills, Gary (2014) A survey of open accessibility data At The 11th Web for All Conference 2014, Korea, Republic of. 07 - 09 Apr 2014. 4 pp. (doi:10.1145/2596695.2596708).

Ding, Chaohai, Wald, Mike and Wills, Gary (2014) Open accessibility data interlinking At 14th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, France. 09 - 11 Jul 2014. , pp. 73-80.

Ding, Chaohai, Wald, Mike and Wills, Gary (2014) Using open accessibility data for accessible travelling At Pre-Conference of 14th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, France. 07 - 08 Jul 2014. 4 pp.

Li, Yunjia, Ding, Chaohai and Wald, Mike (2014) WhatTheySaid: enriching UK Parliament debates with Semantic Web At the 13th International Semantic Web Conference: Post and Demo Session, Italy. 19 - 23 Oct 2014. 4 pp.

Ding, Chaohai, Wald, Mike and Wills, Gary Brian (2014) Applying the linked data principles to open accessibility data for accessible way-finding At Accessible Way-Finding Using Web Technologies. Online Symposium. 03 Dec 2014.

Ding, Chaohai, Wald, Mike and Wills, Gary (2015) Linked data-driven decision support for accessible travelling At W4A (Web for All) 2015 – Doctoral Consortium, Italy.

Ding, Chaohai, Halabi, Nawar, Alzaben, Lama, Li, Yunjia, Draffan, E.A. and Wald, Mike (2015) A web based multi-linguists symbol-to-text AAC application At W4A (Web for All) 2015 – TPG Accessibility Challenge, Italy. 18 - 20 May 2015. (doi:10.1145/2745555.2746674).

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Published: 24 October 2017

The 11th Universities High Voltage Network Colloquium (UHVnet), 2018 is hosted by the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory, University of Southampton. The UHVnet Colloquium provides an ideal platform for Postgraduate Students and Early Career Researchers to present their work to others within the UK’s High Voltage (HV) Engineering community. The event offers a combination of oral and poster sessions in any of the following areas: • High Voltage AC and DC Plant and Systems • Measurement and Condition Monitoring • Dielectric Materials and their AC or DC Applications • Theory, Models and Simulation • Data Interpretation and Diagnostics • Assessing the Sustainability of Power Networks

The UHVnet 2018 will be held in Winchester on January 15th to 16th. A call for abstracts can be found here: uhvnet.org.uk/abstracts.pdf

And the website is here: www.uhvnet.org.uk

The UHVnet was set up in 2004, by a group of universities (which currently includes, The University of Southampton, Staffordshire University, Cardiff University, Glasgow Caledonian University, Leicester University, Liverpool University, The University of Manchester and The University of Strathclyde). The UHVnet was formed to further the interests of high voltage research within the United Kingdom. Specific objectives of the group include raising the awareness of the research capabilities of group members to UK high-voltage related industry, particularly manufacturers and electricity supply companies.

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For a full list of publications, projects and staff, visit the Cyber Security Research Group website
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Publications

Lane, R.P., Chappell, P.H. and Matthews, M.J.A. (2015) Combined dropfoot treatment using dynamic splinting with FES: a case study At IFESS15: Fifth Conference of the UK and Ireland Chapter of the International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society. 08 - 09 May 2015. 1 pp, p. 63.

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