Lightning strike simulation to spark interest in electricity
UC lightning strike simulation set to spark interest
in electric power September 23, 2013
September 23, 2013
Lightning strike simulation on a marine vessel will be one of the highlights of the University of Canterbury (UC) Electric Power Engineering Centre’s annual research and development expo on campus on Wednesday (September 25).
The almost one million volt lightning strike event is set to spark interest in New Zealand’s electric power industry in demonstrating the effects lightning has on the controls of marine vessels.
UC’s EPECentre director Dr Allan Miller says the expo will be showcasing projects of final year electrical engineering students, as well as a number of demonstrations and presentations of on-going UC research projects.
The expo demonstrates the ability of electrical engineering students to members of the power industry and Power Engineering Excellence Trust, as well as highlighting some of the research projects and developments being conducted through the EPECentre.
Various members of the electricity industry will be given a tour of the High Voltage (HV) laboratory where the application of high voltage electrical arcs will take place, appropriate to the research projects being displayed. UC is the only university in New Zealand to house an HV Lab facility.
``The event will house presentations from the students on their projects which include displays of an electrical motorcycle, the effects of lightning strikes aboard marine vessels and a number of other electrical engineering related projects.”
``Guests can see final year engineering students’ presentations, including Wamiq Hassan‘s research project which involves the testing of lightning strikes on marine vessels,’’ Dr Miller says.
``It’s testing control systems for boats, to international standards and beyond,” Hassan says.
``Having previously tested the marine vessel equipment from 4000 volts to 20,000 volts, using a Marx generator, I hope to simulate a one million volts strength lightning strike during the expo.’’
Guest speaker will be Transpower chief executive Dr Patrick Strange who will outline key issues before the presentation of EPECentre scholarships to undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Other research being undertaken by the EPECentre is the Green Grid project. Last year, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment granted the EPECentre, $6.3 million to lead Green Grid project.
This is a new research initiative which is modelling future trends in renewable electricity generation and household demand, together with in depth knowledge of electricity networks and power management, to ensure that New Zealanders have access to reliable, safe, and affordable renewable energy.
The research team at UC is looking at ways to facilitate new renewable generation into the electricity network, both at the transmission level and distribution network to ensure a secure and economically efficient electricity supply.
This is one of a number of key research projects being conducted by the EPECentre, and the annual research and development expo is a way to showcase this research to the industry.