ABB and Chalmers in joint research on electric power engineering

​Developments within the field of electric power engineering are in focus when the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, SSF, gives funding to two research projects that will be performed in collaboration between ABB and Chalmers University of Technology.
Olof Hjortstam and Rahul Kanchan have been working for several years at ABB in Västerås in various research positions. In 2019, they were appointed adjunct researchers at Chalmers. The purpose is to establish a closer cooperation between academia and industry, for mutual benefit.

Recently, it was also announced that the two researchers will receive funding from SSF of more than SEK 800,000 each for projects that in various ways aim to increase the utility of electricity in society. Both projects will start in 2020 and last for two years.

More efficient transmission system for high voltages

Olof Hjortstam, Adjunct Professor at the department of Electrical Engineering, will lead the project “Charge dynamics in future HVDC insulation systems”. HVDC, High Voltage Direct Current, is a technology that is increasingly used worldwide to transfer large amounts of electricity over long geographical distances with low losses. The research will increase knowledge about how the next generation of components and insulation materials should be designed to withstand higher voltages and longer transmissions. Today, there are HVDC transmissions that are more than 200 kilometers long using voltages up to 800 kV DC. In the near future, transfers that are more than 300 km long with a voltage of 1100 kV DC will be commissioned.

“The way different materials interact in an insulation system with, for example, air, insulation fluids and polymer materials is very complex to predict”, says Olof Hjortstam. “The purpose of the project is to formulate better models for high voltage engineers to use when developing components and insulation materials for future transmission systems. In the end, this benefits the stability and efficiency of society's electricity supply system.”

The collaborative partner at Chalmers will be Yuriy Serdyuk, Professor at the department of Electrical Engineering.

Smart technology diagnoses the electric vehicles of the future

Rahul Kanchan, Adjunct Associate Professor at the department of Electrical Engineering, is heading the project “Future Powertrains for eMobility”. The research aims to develop innovative technical solutions for the propulsion of electric vehicles and to have impact on the development towards more efficient and reliable technology.

“We are developing highly integrated machine-power electronic converters for the drivelines in electric vehicles, assisted by a novel control and diagnostics solution that predict the condition of the driveline. Smart maintenance scheduling can then prevent operational failures”, says Rahul Kanchan.

The project aims to leverage on smart sensing and industrial digitalisation technologies, already used in other areas, and adapt them to advanced functions in eMobility solutions. The research will also include practical aspects of creating an framework for so called digital twins, representing a model of the powertrain, based on advanced AI analytics, to predict the need of service and perform maintenance planning.

The collaborative partner at Chalmers will be Yujing Liu, Professor at the department of Electrical Engineering.​

More on SSF and the program for strategic mobility

Annually, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) in its Strategic Mobility program gives funding to exciting projects with the purpose of transferring knowledge between academia and industry/clinics. The aim is to make it easier for researchers from industry or academia/research institutes to work with the other party. SSF allocates SEK 15 million annually to the program.

This time, a total of 14 projects received funding, of which two are jointly performed by Chalmers’ department of Electrical Engineering and ABB in Västerås.

Read more on the Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF)​

For more information contact

Olof Hjortstam, Adjunct Professor at the department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology and Senior Principal Scientist at ABB Power Grids Research in Västerås
olof.hjortstam@se.abb.com

Yuriy Serdyuk, Professor at the department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology
yuriy.serdyuk@chalmers.se

Rahul Kanchan, Adjunct Associated Professor at the department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology and Principal Scientist at ABB Corporate Research in Västerås
rahul.kanchan@se.abb.com

Yujing Liu​​, Full Professor at the department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology
yujing.liu@chalmers.se


Published: Fri 17 Jan 2020.