The Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) has been awarded a contract to provide services for the MoD’s Electric Ship Programme. The PNDC will provide modelling, simulation, power hardware in the loop and system integration testing capabilities for Marine Electrical Systems through the use of the PNDC’s test and evaluation facilities, Real Time Digital Simulation (RTDS) equipment and the inherent subject matter expertise that resides within the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.
This project will help accelerate the adoption and integration of complex electrical loads into both legacy and future Royal Navy vessels while also aiming to inform future ship architecture designs. It is expected that future warships will have new types of electric loads, in particular novel pulsed loads that need careful integration, which will provide increased levels of security, affordability and military capability. However, this transformation will bring an increased level of system complexity as electric power systems technologies such as electric propulsion, DC grids and energy storage will require integration whilst guaranteeing system resilience.
The PNDC is uniquely placed to provide modelling capabilities due to the significant expertise and experience within the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde and the Centre is equipped with a an RTDS suite and testing facilities to undertake hardware and power hardware in the loop testing and system integration testing. The ability to introduce power frequency and voltage hardware outputs into the modelling / simulation parameters is a key capability that will be used throughout the framework contract. Whilst to date the Centre’s projects have been heavily focused on electricity distribution network projects, this foray into transport projects is not the first of this nature for the PNDC. A 100kW induction charging plate was installed at the PNDC last year as part of a trial for a hybrid bus. The bus can be charged on-route using inductive charging. On-route charging allows the bus to extend the range it can operate in electric mode, thereby requiring a smaller battery pack. The goal is to have the bus run in full electric mode within urban or pollution-sensitive areas, while in other areas the hybrid mode is used. The Centre supported the project by installing and operating an inductive charger at PNDC, supplying data-loggers with sensors, recording the energy use on the bus and carrying out grid integration assessments for the charger.
The PNDC is an innovative development and demonstration facility aimed at accelerating the adoption of smart grid technology and was founded by the University of Strathclyde, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Funding Council and founding members Scottish Power EnergyNetworks and Scottish and Southern Energy Distribution. The PNDC brings together academics, engineers and technologists to define and execute research, development, and demonstration projects that will help shape the electricity networks of the future. In the last six months two new Tier 1 members Vodafone and UK Power Networks also joined the facility as they seek to further their reputation for innovation in this field.


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