Electrical Energy Conversion Systems are integrated networks of power electronic converters, electrical machines, actuators, energy storage devices, and control systems. As a result of recent advances in power electronics technology, these systems are becoming commonplace and can be found in more-electric aircraft and ships, electric vehicles, railway systems, renewable power generation, active management of power distribution systems, automation systems for factories and industrial processes. The adoption of electrical energy conversion systems is being driven by the need to increase energy efficiency, and controllability, whilst reducing system weight and maintenance costs.
This MSc course has been designed to equip electrical engineers with the knowledge and skills that are required to design modern electrical energy conversion systems, it includes the fundamentals of electrical machine and power electronics design, system integration, control, energy management and protection. The teaching team of eight academic staff belong to the Power Conversion Group and are all actively involved in researching new aspects of machines, drives, power electronics and electrical systems, particularly for applications in transport and sustainable electricity supply. The Group's research activities and industrial links inform the course content and enrich the student experience.
The MSc course begins with an introduction to the building blocks of converters, machines, actuators and relevant control systems. The programme will give you a high level of exposure to system integration and is illustrated by a broad range of high-technology activities related to industrial and other systems. In addition to lectures, tutorials, design exercises and enquiry-based learning, you will attend industrial seminars and practical laboratories which employ mainly industrial equipment. The course will include a `mechatronic' emphasis in examining how system blocks interact and ensuring that electrical and mechanical systems work together.
The summer is spent on an individual dissertation project, which is strongly supported by the Power Conversion Research Group's research base (including the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre) and extensive industrial contacts. Cutting-edge research areas include versatile power and conversion systems for a variety of applications, including more-electric aircraft and ships, electric and hybrid vehicles, automation systems and autonomous/micro-grid power systems.
The course of study begins with essential material on power electronics, machines and analysis methods. The course then progresses to look at the combination of electrical machines and power electronics to form electrical drives, including the associated control systems. These topics are subsequently developed as sub-systems in the overall area of energy conversion and their integration into efficient and effective systems concludes the taught element. Case studies on modern energy conversion systems are used throughout to reinforce the theoretical work, for example electric vehicle power trains, aircraft actuation systems, electric ship propulsion systems, aircraft generation and distribution systems, and microgrids. The individual research project allows you to develop research skills and explore a key area in greater depth.
Graduates of the course will have acquired in-depth education in modern design, broad exposure to the expanding range of applications, hands-on experience and integration into state-of-the-art systems. These comprise the special knowledge and skills needed for a professional career in energy conversion systems, an area in which engineers are in demand for key power electronic/drives/automation industries. Industry's competitive edge relies on high-technology drives and in the integration of systems to provide superior overall performance. Applications include the `more electric aircraft', electric transport and high-reliability systems. Opportunities also exist for further study to doctoral level in the Power Conversion Group's recently re-equipped and expanding research laboratories.