(replaced)Research Themes 

Our main research directions are Superconducting Aircraft, Modelling Tools, Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage systems (SMES), Superconducting cables and HTS motor.


We at Strathclyde are aiming to model the turbo electric and all electric propulsion systems for electric aircraft. Various architectures inspired by the NASA N3-X future aircraft designs are being investigated with the core idea of utilising HTS technology. These studies include design and evaluation of HTS cables, SFCL’s, cryogenic power electronics and HTS machines in specific to electric aircraft. Airbus and Rolls-Royce being the key industry partners, we are aiming to push the boundaries of HTS technology, marking a significant milestone in the future of aviation industry.



Modelling Tools

We are using a number of novel techniques to model high temperature superconductors in details. These include using Finite Element Method, integration method and minimisation method.

  • Design and test of a new droop control algorithm for a SMES/battery hybrid energy storage system

J. Li, Q. Yang, F. Robinson, F. Liang, M. Zhang, W. Yuan

Design and experimental test of a SMES/battery droop control algorithm.

  • Analysis of a new design of the hybrid energy storage systems used in the residential mCHP systems

J. Li, X. Wang, Z. Zhang, S. Le Blond, Q. Yang, M. Zhang, W. Yuan

Real time digital simulation of SMES-battery control method. 

  • Design and Simulation of SMES System Using YBCO Tapes for Direct Drive Wave Energy Converters

H. Zhang, Z. Nie, X. Xiao, R. Aggarwal, Q. Kang, M. Ainslie, J. Zhu, T. Coombs, W. Yuan

A SMES design for SMES-battery hybrid systems


Superconducting cables

Superconducting cables are able to transmit ten times more power than conventional cables in the same volume even taking into account of cooling systems. The work we are doing include simulation and analysis of superconducting cables in various application scenarios e.g. aircraft distribution systems, offshore HVDC connections and electricity distribution networks.

Example research include:

1) design and simulation of superconducting cables for all electric aircraft propulsion systems;

2) analysis of point to point and multi-terminal HVDC offshore network using superconducting cables;

3) one of first economic and feasibility analysis of using superconducting cables for UK’s distribution networks. These work has been funded by Airbus, Ofgem, Supernode and Offshore renewable energy catapult. 


Selected publications:

  • DC Line to Line Short-Circuit Fault Management in a Turbo-Electric Aircraft Propulsion System Using Superconducting Devices

S. Venuturumilli, F. Berg, L. Prisse, M. Zhang and W. Yuan

Superconducting cables for aircraft propulsion systems

  • Investigation of HTS cable impact on turboelectric aircraft performance

S. Venuturumilli, F. Berg, L. Prisse, M. Zhang and W. Yuan

Superconducting cables for aircraft propulsion systems

  • DC fault study of a point-to-point HVDC system integrating offshore wind farm using high-temperature superconductor DC cables

W. Xiang, W. Yuan, L. Xu, E. Hodge, J. Fitzgerald, P. Mckeever, K. Bell

Offshore HVDC network

  • Economic feasibility study of using high-temperature superconducting cables in UK's electrical distribution networks

W. Yuan, S. Venuturumilli, Z. Zhang, Y. Mavrocostanti and M. Zhang

Feasibility and economic analysis of superconducting cables for distribution networks

  • Report written for Western Power Distribution

South West, South Wales, West Midlands and East Midlands

Superconducting cables network feasibility study


Research on HTS motor

Our work contained in this thesis focusses on pushing superconductors towards scalable commercialisation by focussing on a crucial limiting factor, namely A.C. losses. In an A.C. operating environment, superconductors produce heat which must be dissipated to maintain superconductivity. On the other hand, virtually zero loss is measured in the D.C. operation. In rotating electrical machines the A.C. environment is unavoidable and we must understand and mitigate this characteristic to lower the cryogenic system cost, improve efficiency and realise the ambition of many in the research field to see widespread adoption of superconductors in transportation.



Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage systems (SMES)

Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage systems store energy in the magnetic field created by a persistent current loop in a superconducting magnet. We’ve pioneered in developing SMES-battery hybrid energy storage systems which combines benefits of both SMES and battery. This hybrid energy storage has both large power and energy densities whilst providing a quick response. Our work in this area includes developing prototype and also power system simulation of integration of the storage system and also analysis of battery life extension. Our developed prototype can be seen in the picture below. This work has been funded by EPSRC and also the Royal Academy of Engineering. 

  • A Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage-Emulator/Battery Supported Dynamic Voltage Restorer

A. M. Gee, F. Robinson and W. Yuan

SMES emulator-battery experimental set up. This paper introduces our DC-DC converter to control SMES/battery hybrid system and also a microgrid which can create a voltage sag.

Typical Papers:

  • New Technique for Using SMES to Limit Fault Currents in Wind Farm Power Systems

M. E. Elshiekh, D. A. Mansour, M. Zhang, W. Yuan, H. Wang and M. Xie

Simulation of using SMES both as energy storage and fault current limiter for wind farm integration.