Advanced High Voltage Engineering Research Centre
Understanding high voltage systems and phenomena, from the National Grid to lightning strikes on aircraft.
Research in the Advanced High Voltage Engineering Research Centre (AHIVE) focuses on systems and phenomena related to very high voltage electricity.
With millions of homes and businesses relying on the National Grid, engineering research in high voltage electrical energy systems is very important in protecting from surges, preventing blackouts and ensuring safety and efficiency from the grid across the UK.
High voltage research and air travel
Air travel is a global industry which recognises the importance of research into high voltage. On average each commercial aircraft is struck by lightning once a year. It is clear that the design and implementation of new materials in aerospace engineering - to make aircraft lighter and reduce fuel use - need to take into account the high voltages of lightning they will inevitably come into contact with. Research in the Advanced High Voltage Engineering Research Centre is therefore working to make the use of electricity and global air travel safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.
Working with the National Grid Centre
One of the major projects in theAdvanced High Voltage Engineering Research Centre is the National Grid Centre. The National Grid Centre is a Research Centre of Excellence established in 2005 between Cardiff University and National Grid.
The Centre provides research and consultancy services as well as establishing collaborative partnerships between university researchers and company engineers. The Centre has particular expertise in high voltage insulation systems, protection against overvoltage, earthing systems and the safety of electrical systems.
The Morgan-Botti Lightning Laboratory
The Morgan-Botti Lightning Laboratory is a £1.6 million off-site facility funded by the Welsh Government and EADS. It is Europe's only University-led lightning research facility established in 2011 as a collaboration between Cardiff University and Airbus Group Innovations (formerly EADS). The Lightning Laboratory is capable of generating controlled lightning up to 200,000 amps, more than five times an average lightning strike. Research at the Lightning Laboratory is helping further understanding of lightning effects on materials, reducing the environmental impact of air travel, as well as making it safer and more efficient. The laboratory's main research interests include measuring the direct-effects of lightning strikes on structures and samples and investigating lightning protection mechanisms for the aerospace industry.