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Research Fellows Directory

Jon Clare

Professor Jon Clare

Research Fellow

Organisation

University of Nottingham

Research summary

My research concerns the conditioning and control of electrical energy using “Power Electronics”, employing “electronic” devices (e.g transistors) to process energy, rather than information as in micro-electronics. Energy conditioning/control is always required between sources and loads, and power electronics is the only technology to do that efficiently. The PC power supply is a simple power converter example (high voltage AC to low voltage DC). Other applications span from mW to GW need – power electronics is important to almost everything we do and is critical for the future low-carbon society. My Group researches technologies to enable higher efficiency, higher power handling capability, higher power to weight (and/or volume) ratio, higher reliability and increased controllability. In addition, there is a strong pull for application oriented research from the energy sector (new grid ideas) and transport electrification (e.g. more electric aircraft, hybrid/electric vehicles). Inefficiency costs money (energy loss) and impacts system size/weight (heat removal). Research includes exploitation of new devices using new semiconductor materials (SiC and GaN) with more “ideal” characteristics. Increasing the power handling capability (towards 1GW for grid systems) means working out optimum ways to use thousands of power semiconductors in a complex circuit arrangement to handle much higher voltages and currents (efficiently). Power to weight/volume ratio is critical in aerospace applications. As well as improved efficiency, research is directed at basic technologies for greater integration and miniaturisation of power components. Reliability research looks at fault tolerant systems (operation with faults) and better component reliability through better thermal management and construction. Reliability is vital in grid applications and in aerospace. Power electronics affects us all every day – whether we are using a smartphone, driving a car or taking a train/aeroplane.

Grants awarded

Power Conversion Technologies for Electrical Energy Conditioning and Control

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Feb 2016 - Jan 2021

Value: £35,000

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