Mar. 9, 2005 Scientists at Cardiff University, UK have been called in to help improve the already high levels of safety and reliability on the UK's electrical transmission system.
A team of experts in Cardiff School of Engineering will run sophisticated computer simulations, laboratory experiments and field tests on the National Grid electricity network to develop a better understanding of what happens when faults and power surges occur.
"We will develop computer models that allow prediction of voltages and currents following major faults on the network," explained Dr Manu Haddad, who heads the research team. "These faults can be caused by lightning, adverse weather and environmental conditions".
"We will then carry out full-scale tests on selected equipment, in particular using a lightning surge generator which is capable of delivering fast impulses of 20,000 Amperes in magnitude; 2000 times the current a kettle takes and less than 50 millionths of a second duration," added his colleague Huw Griffiths.
National Grid Transco (NGT) has designated the High Voltage Research Group at Cardiff as one of four research centres of excellence in the UK university system.
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