About us

The Power Electronics and Energy research theme explores aspects related to energy and power of railway systems and focusses on modelling electric systems and subsystems for railways; carrying out measurement and instrumentation of vehicles and substations and bespoke design of converters for power electronics.

Image of train moving at high speed used to illustrate power systems and energy use research

The group has developed software tools for use in railway traction simulation, single and multi-train simulators for assessing energy consumption, vehicle performance analysis and braking performance analysis. In addition to offering expert services in systems engineering, power, energy management and railway control systems, recent research has included:

  • Extensive instrumentation and modelling of the Merseyside rail network and Edinburgh Tram, delivering significant potential energy savings
  • Train sub-system monitoring, control and system integration, working with the American Public Transport Association's Train Door Group, Vapour, Alstom South East Trains and Southern
  • Equipment, in traction power substations and on a vehicle, has measured system losses which have been used in Network Rail’s CP5 EC4T billing regime
  • New traction systems for railway and automotive applications
  • Regenerative braking and traction efficiency studies, e.g. with MTR, Hong Kong
  • New power converter topologies are being analysed and tested, with the aim of integrating storage devices and reducing maintenance costs and failure rates of on-board traction equipment
  • Emerging devices such as Silicon Carbide MosFETS are currently under investigation for use in traction power converters: small-scale prototypes are currently in operation in our laboratories
  • We are home to the Energy Systems Integration Laboratory (ESIL)

For more information, please contact Dr Stuart Hillmansen, Senior Lecturer in Electrical Energy Systems.