Research Line B
Energy Efficiency
Objectives
The work developed in the previous period will continue beyond 2015, enriching the group's research lines.

Alternative energies and electrical drives

Under the smart factory context, the group will continue the work on industrial motor fault detection and diagnosis. Besides on-going scientific research a close collaboration with industry is now being contracted, in order to financially lever the project and to implement the developed fault detection and diagnosis algorithms on industrial motor protection units. At the moment, one PhD is involved in this research line and, at least, one MsC per year is considered.

Under the smart grid context the group will continue the work regarding end-user efficiency and renewable energies, namely their building/grid integration. All developments will be integrated in the building energy conceptual model, which will make the building a fully integrated element of the smart grid. A strategy to establish a community of NZEB buildings will also be explored. At the moment, four PhDs are involved in this thematic.

Following this research line, the group will further strength its international collaboration, namely with University of Extremadura (Badajoz, Spain) and Technical University of Tallinn (Tallinn, Estonia), increasing the research efforts on Local Energy Management Unit / Virtual Energy Grid Artificial Intelligence System and on PET (Power Electronics Transformers).

Superconductivity and low temperature electrotechnics

Superconducting fault current limiters (SFCL) and superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) show specific advantages in the implementation of smart grid concept. SFCL limits short-circuit currents maintaining service and SMES supply high amounts of power for short time, increasing power quality.

Planned activities include developing new topologies for SFCL, namely its integration in a superconducting (SC) transformer; modeling losses in SMES for a wide range of frequencies; industrial deployment of a SFCL; developing coordination algorithms for SFCL and SMES; and analyzing strategies for coordinating SC technologies with conventional protections.

The group is involved in establishing a consortium of R&D groups in superconductivity at Iberian level, I2PS - Iberian Initiative for the Promotion of Superconductivity, together with Spanish partners University of Extremadura (Badajoz), CIEMAT (Madrid), and ICMAB (Barcelona). Cooperation has started with Slovak Academy of Sciences (AC losses in SC tapes)

Modern electric energy processing

The activities at the Laboratory for Nanoscale Science and Nanotechnology of FCT-UNL will be mainly focused in the development of Nanophysics for Clean Energy and Propulsion, through:

  1. Understanding relevant dynamical processes at the nanoscale, and development of nano-analytical techniques, in order to improve the performance of electrolytic and fuel cells as well as renewable hydrogen production and storage.
  2. Wireless energy processing/harvesting at the nanoscale
    Up-grading some equipment to investigate new types of molecular transceivers/receptors easily integrated in micro-devices, based on near-field optics and plasmonics.
  3. Plasma electromagnetic propulsion
    Combining nanophysics/electrodynamics phenomena to design innovative propulsion devices based on new arrangements of electric currents generating propulsive forces assisted by electro-hydrodynamics.

Collaboration with other scientific groups, inside and outside FCT-UNL, will be implemented in order to enlarge the experimental facilities (like TEM, and confocal micro-Raman spectrometer), and boost clean energy and electromagnetic propulsion research.
The methodologies to be developed fits well the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation objectives roadmap, and will involve training of young researchers in the aim of doctoral and advanced post-graduation programs, as well as establishing consulting and research projects with National and European industries.

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