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Development of condition monitoring techniques for SF6 alternatives in high voltage plant

   Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

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  Dr T Chen, Prof I Cotton  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Manchester is home to one of the largest electrical and electronic engineering departments in the country. Our High Voltage Laboratory makes us a place renowned for applied research, a place ranked in the top three UK universities for research impact. *

That’s why industry looks to us to tackle real challenges, and why we’re currently supporting partners like National Grid.

Now, we’re looking for innovators interested in working as part of a pioneering team of five PhDs and two PDRAs to help develop a grid of the future.

With a drive to reduce the use of SF6 in the power sector, several candidate gases are now commercially available or under evaluation for use in gas insulated high voltage plant. PD monitoring has been established as means for condition assessment of SF6 filled equipment with initial studies demonstrating its potential feasibility for use in alternatives. A project is proposed to fully explore the application of PD detection to SF6 alternative candidate gases, in particular for medium voltage and high voltage switchgear. Propagation of acoustic and electromagnetic energy will be investigated along with detection in different switchgear designs. Laboratory and field measurements will be made on both SF6 and its alternatives to examine the occurrence of PD, characterise different defect types and better understand the potential degradation to the insulation system

We also have two additional projects available as part of this cohort: 'Machine Learning Approach to Identify Environmentally Friendly Alternatives to SF6 for UK Electricity Networks' (Machine Learning Approach to Identify Environmentally Friendly Alternatives to SF6 for UK Electricity Networks at The University of Manchester on and 'Investigation of Greenhouse Gas Alternatives for Electrical Insulation' (Investigation of Greenhouse Gas Alternatives for Electrical Insulation at The University of Manchester on

Start Date: 2022/23 academic year (1st September 2022 earliest start date and 1st July 2023 latest start date) 

Entry Requirements: The standard academic entry requirements for a Doctorate level programme is an Upper Second UK honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline or a first degree with an additional pass in a UK Masters degree (or international equivalent)

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status. 

We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder). 

All appointments are made on merit.

Funding Notes

Funding is available for UK/EU students and will pay the tuition fee and provide a stipend for 3.5 years at the UKRI rate (currently £15609 pa). EU applicants will need to have pre-settled status and 3 years living in EEA countries to qualify.
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