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Energy and electronic engineering research

Explore our work in renewable energy, power systems, control systems, intelligent systems, and signal and image processing

We take pride in our pursuit of cutting-edge research and technological advancements in the domains of energy and electronic engineering. Our academics and researchers are involved in array of transformative disciplines, including renewable energy systems, power systems, control systems, robotics, intelligent systems, signal processing, and image processing.

With a shared vision to create a sustainable and interconnected world, we foster a vibrant atmosphere of collaboration, driving impactful solutions to help address some of the most pressing global challenges. Through our research and innovation activities, we help unlock the great potential of energy and electronic engineering, shaping a brighter and more sustainable future for generations to come. Our multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research work explores methods and theories, as well as their application in tackling real world problems and challenges. 

An example of the close relationship between energy and electronic engineering is electrical power systems. The introduction of new data communication technologies, including metering, power electronic converters, artificial intelligence (AI), and computing technologies, is leading to the development of what is known as the Smart Grid, an evolution of the power system that incorporates those technological advances.

These changes have a focus on integrating renewable forms of energy, and making the grid more efficient, flexible, secure, reliable and sustainable. We're looking at how best to address these challenges, and maximise opportunities to enhance the power grid. 

We've had an impact in the safety of nuclear power plants in India, the adoption of clean solar energy in the 2 seas region of northern Europe, the development of an energy autonomous community in the Isle of Wight, disruption analysis tools for the railway industry, establishing a condition monitoring system for Stork Food and Dairy Systems to predict catastrophic failures in machinery, and the development of approaches to enable the inspection of off-shore wind turbine blades using drone swarms.

Together with Subsea Craft, we are developing condition monitoring methods based on machine learning for the company’s cutting-edge submersible boat. In collaboration with other research groups at the university, we are also actively supporting Portsmouth International Port in the process of pursuing their decarbonisation goals.

Our work is regularly published by leading academic journals, including Energy, IEEE Access, IEEE Transactions in Nuclear Science, Journal of Modern Power Systems and Clean Energy, Energies, Progress in Nuclear Energy, Reliability Engineering and System Safety, and Applied Energy.

Our research looks at the following topics:

  • Renewable and low carbon energy systems – These refer to a diverse set of technologies and infrastructure designed to harness and convert naturally replenishing resources into usable energy, such as solar energy, or that produce usable energy without releasing carbon in the process, such as nuclear energy. These systems encompass a wide range of technologies, from solar panels and wind turbines to hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants, all aimed at generating electricity and providing heat or mechanical energy without causing significant harm to the environment.
  • Control systems – These govern, or regulate, how a process behaves over time. For example, automobiles, aircraft, robotic arms and power grids have many control systems which are needed for their safe and stable operation. Our research develops methods for computational optimal control, fault tolerant control, nonlinear control, fault diagnosis and state estimation. This enhances the operation and safety of processes and systems, for example in nuclear power plants, energy storage systems, and autonomous aerial vehicles.
  • Intelligent systems – This refers to the theory and application of systems that perceive, reason, learn, and act intelligently to achieve their objectives. We're exploring ways of using machine learning for autonomous driving, as well as anomaly detection in industrial systems, such as marine engines, electric propellers, large battery systems, and trains.
  • Signal and image processing – This is the theory and practice of algorithms and hardware that convert signals produced by artificial or natural means into a form that can be used for a specific purpose. We're addressing challenges and developing methods in the areas of digital signal processing, image and video compression, classification, analysis and processing, and speech.
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Innovative Industrial Research Group

Find out more about the research we're doing within our Innovative Industrial Research Group, where we're exploring how artificial intelligence (AI) can help improve the performance of different products and services.

Methods and facilities

Some of the methods we use include theoretical and computer modelling numerical simulation, parameter estimation and optimisation, statistical analysis, as well as experimentation on laboratory scale plants and models, and in some cases, industrial scale prototypes and systems. 

We have equipment for real-time control, including hardware-in-the loop (HIL) simulator, power electronic converters, photovoltaic solar arrays, battery storage systems, solar resource assessment instruments, generators and electric motors, digital signal processing equipment, industrial robot arms, as well as autonomous aerial vehicles.

Through the recent Interreg 2 Seas project SOLARISE, we created a solar living lab, aiming to support our research and training on solar energy and battery storage technologies. This living lab consists of fully monitored solar photovoltaic and battery storage installations that are fully integrated with two university buildings.

Funders and collaborations

Our industrial partners include companies such as EON, SEE, General Electric, BAR Technologies, IOTICS, Barter for Things, as well as organisations including Portsmouth International Port, QuinetiQ, South Western Railways and DSTL.

We have links with the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth Councils, and collaborate with institutions across the globe. These include Bhabba Atomic Research Centre, and Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research in India, the University of Picardie Jules Verne in France, KU Leuven in Belgium, the University of Cantabria in Spain, and several universities in the UK. We also have connections with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA).

Our work is frequently funded by major funding organisations, such as Innovate UK, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the European Commission, and Interreg 2 Seas, a European Territorial Cooperation Programme covering England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders), that's part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.