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Power Electronics and Drives

The group of researchers focuses on basic and applied research in the field of power electronics, electric drives, special robotics and the theory of decision-making. The team builds on the long-standing tradition of this field in the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen and expands on the extensive international industrial cooperation and the past success of this research team on the international scale. Currently, the team ranks among the biggest European research groups involved in this field. 

 

Materials Research

The material research group focuses primarily on organic, printed and flexible electronics, smart textiles, smart garments and environmental sensors for IoT applications. The core objectives cover printing and additive deposition of electronic structures using novel functional nanomaterials (metallic nanoparticles, organic conductive compounds, carbon nanotubes, graphene) and integration of electronic functionalities on flexible foils and in textiles. Particular attention is devoted to R&D on sensors for detection of humidity, temperature and various chemical gases and vapours based on electrochemical and chemoresistive principle.

Power Engineering and Industrial Systems

The research group focuses on the development of new technologies in the area of generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy and heat and on mathematical modelling and optimizations of energy-intensive industrial systems. Within the generation of electrical energy, the team is concerned with computations and modelling of coal-fired and gas-fired power plants and of the secondary circuit of nuclear power plants in order to optimize the power efficiency, dynamics and quality of regulation of the individual systems of internal consumption of power plants. Another significant field the group deals with is modelling and optimization of hydro-power stations with a special focus on control of the parallel operation of turbines.

Other mainstays of the research program include simulations and modelling of electrical transmission and distribution networks, short-circuit calculations, reliability calculations and safety – primarily in the field of nuclear power engineering.  The group is also involved in computational modelling of mechanical and electromechanical structures, including simulations of operating conditions and undesirable conditions of structures and rotating machines. 

Mathematical-physical Modelling and Computation

Research and development of novel methods for the solution of physical fields and their mutual interaction. The aim is the development of advanced methods of numerical solution of coupled problems using sophisticated algorithms based on a fully adaptive higher-order finite element method. Utilization of these technologies reduces the computing time necessary for the solution of the problem and allows solving vast problems in the domains of electromagnetic field, temperature field, structural mechanics, flow or acoustics.

The main activity of the group is modeling of complex multiphysics problems. In the course of solving projects the group make use of commercial codes (ANSYS, COMSOL Multiphysics, FEMM, MATLAB, SIMULINK) and also own implementation of finite elements (Hermes, Agros2D).

Electronics and Testing

The concern of this research group can be divided into several fields. The main focus of interest is the design of specialized electronics for measuring and control applications. This primarily concerns the development of a modular control system to be used in industrial power applications.

Another field the research group is concerned with is testing of electronics. Our activities involve the development of primarily automatic test systems (stands), analyses of testing processes, optimization of testing with regard to the automation of tests, and Hardware in Loop (HIL) simulations.

In order to accelerate the research performed by the other research teams, this research group provides specialist assistance with the design of specific electronics necessary for implementing specific scientific projects.

The team’s capacity for designing electronics systems is also offered within the commercial sector and to projects implemented by other than in-house teams.

Diagnostics and Testing Engineering

The activities of this research team involve several areas. The first area is diagnostics of materials and structural analysis. This part of the team deals with the diagnostics of insulating systems of electrical machines and devices from the point of view of their properties relating to the measurement of insulation resistance, short-circuit factors, capacity and partial discharges. Apart from the electrical tests, mechanical tests are performed, for example, the measurement of tensile strength, compression strength and bending strength. Of all the structural analysis methods employed in this research workplace, it is necessary to mention thermal-mechanical analysis, dynamic-mechanical analysis, thermogravimetry, differential scanning calorimetry and infra-red spectroscopy with the Fourier transformation.

The second area of interest involves the diagnostics of electronics components, printed-circuit boards and linkage structures. In this area, the microscopy laboratory is frequently exploited, which is, apart from conventional optical microscopes, equipped with a fluorescence microscope and a laser confocal microscope offering 3D measurement and the use of an atomic force microscopy (AFM) module. The application of these instruments enables monitoring of the influence of various factors on the inner structure of materials and on the parts of a device. One of these factors may be, for example, the influence of the environment, which can be simulated in a climatic chamber available. The climatic chamber can be further used to verify the functionality of materials and devices and to assess their life.

Acoustics is another area the team is actively involved in. Here, the researchers deal with noise measurement, electroacoustics and sound equipment, as well as construction and spatial acoustics. In addition to measurement and evaluation of the obtained data, the team is also concerned with the design of new measurement methods. In order to perform all these tasks, the acoustics team has an anechoic chamber and a reverberation laboratory at their disposal.

Another activity of the research team is related to electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). In this field, the team is predominantly concerned with diagnostics. The researchers verify interference immunity and measure the electromagnetic interference emitted by a device. These EMC activities are performed in the EMC anechoic chamber.

The diagnostics and testing team is equipped with an electrical laboratory (EL).  It is an accredited testing laboratory (no. 1090) offering accredited tests in the field of electromagnetic compatibility and tests of environmental resistance.

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