Development of battery-supercapacitor management systems for electric vehicles

   Electronic and Electrical Engineering

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  Dr Chun Sing Lai, Dr Mohamed Darwish  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Electric vehicles (EV) consuming low-carbon electricity are important assets to decarbonise the transport sector. Currently, most battery-electric vehicles including Tesla and Nissan use lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries as the energy source. Li-ion batteries have high energy and power capacities and have found commercial success in the EV markets. However, Li-ion batteries suffer from significant cell degradation during deep and rapid discharge. The driving behaviour of individuals directly influences the energy discharged from the EV. To prolong Li-ion batteries lifetime and for optimal operation, supercapacitors can also be an additional energy source with rapid discharge characteristic and high power density. For EVs, the battery management system ensures that the rechargeable battery operates within the safe operating region and also with maximum efficiency.

This research project aims to study the technical and economic viability of a hybrid energy storage system for EVs comprising of Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors. The system and its components will be modelled to evaluate the energy storage system’s electrical and thermal performances under different driving cycles.

The objectives of this research project include:

• To develop a battery-supercapacitor management system for the optimal operation of Li-ion battery and supercapacitor in EVs.

• To determine the optimal sizing of energy and power capacities for the battery-supercapacitor system.

• To investigate the electrical drive system (e.g., power converters) with battery-supercapacitor management systems.

• To validate the system with hardware-in-the-loop and software-in-the-loop studies.

• To investigate the techno-economic viability of the hybrid energy storage system in EVs.

Essential Requirements

The applicant should have a good first degree and/or a master’s degree (or other equivalent experience) in Electrical/Electronic Engineering. The applicant ideally should have an excellent understanding in power electronic converters, control systems and good understanding in electric vehicular technologies, battery technologies and in relevant simulation tools and computational platforms, such as MATLAB/Simulink.

The electronic and electrical research draws on the disciplines of electrical power engineering, bio-nanotechnology, wireless technologies for blind navigation, biometrics, use of ultrasonic and electromagnetic acoustic guided wave, fundamentals of charge particle dynamics, measurement systems for pharmaceuticals, medical electronics, pattern recognition, image processing and evolutionary hardware, to improve the control and operations of industrial processes and to enrich the quality of life and services for the 21st century needs. We investigate the efficient conversion of thermal to electrical energy, Direct Current power networks in commercial buildings and homes, and innovations to reduce electrical energy demand. The department supports extensive networked computer facilities, software, and computational platforms. Our computer research covers a range of topics, such as the theory of computation, computational intelligence and computer games, to artificial intelligence and robotics. Our work is applied to many areas such as high energy particle physics, space science, energy, medical imaging, and remote instrumentation and control just to name a few.

Research journey

Doctoral research programmes (PhDs) take a proud place in the world-class research environment and community at Brunel. PhD students are recognised and valued by their supervisors as an essential part of their departments and a key component of the university's overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research.

A PhD programme is expected to take 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time, with intakes starting in January, April or October.

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (1st or 2:1) or an international equivalent. A Masters degree is a welcome, but not required, qualification for entry.

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Brunel

Research support

Excellent research support and training

The Graduate School provides a range of personal, professional and career development opportunities. This includes workshops, online training, coaching and events, to enable you to enhance your professional profile, refine your skills, and plan your next career steps as part of the Researcher Development Programme. The researcher development programme (RDP) offers workshops and seminars in a range of areas including progression, research management, research dissemination, and careers and personal development. You will also be offered a number of online, self-study courses on BBL, including Research Integrity, Research Skills Toolkit, Research Methods in Literature Review and Principles of Research Methods.

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Brunel's Library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 ebooks, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs. As well as the physical resources available in the Library, we also provide access to a wealth of electronic resources. These include databases, journals and e-books. Access to these resources has been bought by the Library through subscription and is limited to current staff and students. 

Dedicated research support staff provide guidance and training on open access, research data management, copyright and other research integrity issues.

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Careers support

You will receive tailored careers support during your PhD and for up to three years after you complete your research at Brunel. We encourage you to actively engage in career planning and managing your personal development right from the start of your research, even (or perhaps especially) if you don't yet have a career path in mind. Our careers provision includes online information and advice, one-to-one consultations and a range of events and workshops. The Professional Development Centre runs a varied programme of careers events throughout the academic year. These include industry insight sessions, recruitment fairs, employer pop-ups and skills workshops.

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded topic
Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: View Website. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

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