Magnetic Devices for Grid Applications


May 24th 2017 - May 24th 2017

Manchester, UK

Updated 18/04/17

Electrical power grids are changing. Intermittent energy sources, notably wind turbines, are becoming significant, generators linked by electronic converters are widespread and increasing and links to other networks are being installed. Such changes have implications for all items connected to the grid.

The grid has always relied on magnetic devices, principally alternators and transformers; these devices must now meet more stringent grid codes and new types of magnetic device are needed. Novel devices for energy storage, fault current limiting and for use with electronic converters are being developed, some making use of improved magnetic materials and in some cases using superconductors. These are enablers for the increasing penetration of intermittent energy into the grid, facilitating the decarbonisation of our energy economy.

The seminar will present a small selection of developments under way, some that are currently being installed and others still in the research labs.


  • Mr Jeremy Tompkins, Vacuumschmelze GmbH & Co KG
  • Dr Arwyn Thomas, Siemens Wind Power
  • Prof Ed Spooner


The dress code for the day is business attire / smart casual.



Getting to the to the University of Manchester


Walking – The Sackville Street campus venues are less than 5 minutes walk from Piccadilly station and our Oxford Road campus is just a further 10 minutes away. To plan your walking route, please go to walkit.com

Rail – Travelling by train couldn’t be easier, with most major cities across the UK offering direct train services into Manchester Piccadilly station, which is just 5 minutes walk from Sackville Street campus and a short taxi ride.

Car – The University’s campuses are located from just 1 mile to the nearest motorway junction and there are University signposts directing you to the campuses. The M60 outer ring road connects to all the motorways running into Manchester from north, south, east and west.

The car parks on the Sackville Street and Oxford Road campuses are chargeable. Chancellors Hotel offers complimentary parking and there is limited free parking within the student halls of residence, subject to availability.

For more details of University car parks, please visit The University of Manchester’s Travel Directions.

Air – Manchester International Airport has flights from over 200 destinations worldwide and the airport is located just 10 miles from the city centre with a direct train service into Piccadilly station every 20 minutes throughout the week. The approximate cost is £5 for a single journey and the journey time is just 15 minutes. Alternatively you can get a taxi to the city centre which costs less than £20. To get more detailed and comprehensive information about flying into Manchester, take a look at the Manchester Airport website.


Introduction to the Power Systems Research Centre
by Prof Ian Cotton of Manchester University

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Grid-Locked: Challenges with Designing Synchronous Generators for the Grid
by Mr Sridhar Narayanan of Cummins Generator Technology

With the electrical power grid becoming more reliant on renewables, there is a rising need to ensure stability of the grid and grid operators rely on power-plants to comply with grid codes. With synchronous generators continuing to remain the number one choice for power-plants, generator manufacturers play an increasingly important role in helping grid operators to achieve their targets specific to maintaining a stable electrical power supply. We will review the challenges that the generator industry faces and the choices that have to be made when designing synchronous generators for grid codes in particular. ‘Grid-Locked’ as an outcome that needs to be prevented, a metaphor and a feeling among designers and businesses will be explained using the lessons learnt from the various projects completed by Cummins Generator Technologies over the years.

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Sharing Reactors for Power Converters
by Mr Phil Waite of Siemens Wind Power

The use of standard building-block Inverter modules for use in multiple different ratings of Multi-MW LV frequency converter applications such as wind turbine generators necessitates the paralleling of Inverter modules. The presentation explains how the selected characteristics of the unacclaimed component within a frequency converter that we name the “Sharing reactor” partners with the converter control and protection system to provide optimisation of power output and quality; as well as converter fault tolerance and robustness

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dI/dt reactors
by Mr Paul Walker of IST Transformers

The power point presentation discusses the development of a second generation of di/dt current limiting reactor for an HVDC valve with particular emphasis on number of turn verses core cross section, pulse magnetization, core saturation and core material selection.

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Fault Current Limiters
by Dr Jeremy Hall of Cardiff University

An overview of the need for fault current limiters in the power distribution networks in the UK and how a “fit-and-forget” passive FCL based on an inductive core saturated with low cost ferrite permanent magnets can offer a solution without any of the disadvantages associated with other FCL technologies.

Superconducting Fault Current Limiters
by Dr Eoin Hodge of OpenHydro

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Flywheel Energy Storage using Switched Reluctance Motor-Generator Drive
by Dr Michael Galea of University of Nottingham

The evolving nature of electrical grids, especially in terms of the ever-increasing presence of renewable energy systems is currently pushing and enabling the development of newer, more efficient and more cost-effective electrical energy storage systems (EESS). In fact it is commonly known that in the near future, more robust and “smarter” systems will be highly required. An overview and high level comparison of the more common EESSs in use today will be given.

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MVDC Circuit Breakers
by Prof Sandy Smith of Manchester University

A review of existing MVDC circuit breaker technologies, discussing their advantages and disadvantages. Also introducing new topologies for MVDC applications.

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TimeSession TitleSession Host
09:00Registration opens; Coffee
09:45WelcomeMr Jeremy Tompkins
10:00Introduction to the Power Systems Research CentreProf Ian Cotton
10:15Grid-Locked: Challenges with Designing Synchronous Generators for the GridMr Sridhar Narayanan
11:00Sharing Reactors for Power ConvertersMr Phil Waite
11:30dI/dt reactorsMr Paul Walker
13:00Fault Current LimitersDr Jeremy Hall
13:30Superconducting Fault Current LimitersDr Eoin Hodge
14:30Flywheel Energy Storage using Switched Reluctance Motor-Generator DriveDr Michael Galea
15:00MVDC Circuit BreakersProf Sandy Smith
15:30Closing RemarksDr Arwyn Thomas
15:45Tours of the Manchester Power Systems Research Facilities, incl. High Voltage Laboratory


Type Standard Fee Group Discount
(3+ delegates)
Industry / Academic Delegate £115.00 N/A
Student / Retired £25.00 N/A
Exhibiting £65.00 N/A
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