The Electrical Energy Management Group currently comprises 6 academic staff and 25 researchers. Its core research lies in the fields of design of electro-mechanical energy conversion devices, power electronic conversion, and advanced control. Recent activities have focussed on improvements in the efficiency, specific output, dynamic performance and reliability of electric drive systems. On-going research projects include:
- Torque/power dense generator systems for aircraft and wind/tidal energy;
- Compact, high efficiency traction motor drives for electric and hybrid vehicles;
- High specific torque, direct electric drives for rotorcraft;
- Multi-level power converters for aircraft and automotive applications;
- Highly efficient grid-tied inverter technologies;
- Low power energy management and energy scavenging;
- Direct torque control and sensorless control of electric drives.
Research funding comes from a variety of sources including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the European Union and directly from industry. Collaborators include Airbus, Augusta-Westland Helicopters and Qinetiq. The Group is a member of the EPSRC Virtual Centre in Underpinning Power Electronics where it is active in the Components, Converters and Drives Themes. Safran Power Systems UK is funding a rolling University Research Centre program in electric drive technologies for the more electric aircraft. The Group hosts three fully instrumented hardware-in-the-loop test cells for automated test of electrical drives, generators and actuators with ratings of up to 500kW. These are being substantially extended for new activities on aircraft actuation systems and hybrid vehicle powertrain. Furthermore the Group has full access to state-of-the-art workshops including numerically controlled machining centres and a wire-eroder, and large test facilities such as EMC chambers and wind tunnels.