Power Networks: a University of Manchester showcase

As part of our ongoing ‘University Showcase’ initiative – promoting the value of industry and academic collaboration – RRUKA organized a visit to the University of Manchester’s Power Networks research facilities on 17 May 2017.

Prof. Crossley briefs V/TE SIC members

Prof. Crossley briefs V/TE SIC members

The university hosted a meeting of the Vehicle/Train Energy Standards Interface Committee (V/TE SIC), which assists the rail industry in evaluating and managing the key power supply system interfaces.

The highlight of the day for the committee – which includes representatives from Network Rail, passenger train operators, freight operators, rolling stock companies, suppliers, Department for Transport, Office of Rail and Road​ and RSSB – was a tour of the universities research facilities.

2 MV Impulse Generator
2 MV Impulse Generator

Professor Peter Crossley led the group around the High Voltage Laboratory, which delivers research funded by industry, government and the EU. It aims to address the global challenge of ensuring the reliable and sustainable supply of energy in increasing quantities while also meeting the desire for reduced environmental impact and provides facilities to test and assess equipment at high voltages.

Next stop on the tour was a visit to the Real Time Digital Simulator within the university’s SMARTLabs.  The RTDS provides a unique digital processing technology platform for the conceptualisation, development, integration, prototyping and testing of power systems and controls automation in real-time Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL), using a ‘multi-core’ PB5-architecture processor-based digital simulation.

Delegates also had a chance to meet two RSSB-supported PhD students who will be spending the next three years conducting research on behalf of the rail industry focusing on: new approaches to managing the protection, control, and automation of power systems using IEC61850; and, managing electrical power losses in railway networks.

Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS)

Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS)

Did you know? RSSB supports a range of PhD students, as part of a strategic partnership with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), focusing on topics as diverse as tribology, sustainable infrastructure, power networks and digital identities and personal data.

Interested in holding a cross-industry group meeting at an RRUKA university?  From a university and would like to host a ‘showcase’?  Get in touch: secretariat@rruka.org.uk


Information about the V/TE SIC can be found on the RSSB website

To find out more about RSSB support for the Power Networks Centre for Doctoral Training PhD students see SPARK

Information about the research facilities featured here can be found on the University of Manchester website


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