Five year energy innovation partnership announced with National Grid

Researchers at Manchester will help decarbonise the electricity system in Great Britain and accelerate progress towards net zero, in a five-year innovation partnership announced with National Grid. The collaboration will help to enable the transition to a cleaner electricity system through knowledge sharing and creation of a culture of innovation.

Researchers, analysts and academics from across the University’s interdisciplinary network will partner with National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) on projects across a wide range of areas related to NGET’s work maintaining the electricity network in Great Britain.

Professor Ian Cotton, Head of Research, School of Engineering; “We're delighted to be continuing this relationship that has existed since 2003 and will now make use of the new Power and Energy Research - The University of Manchester high voltage labs. In that time, we've worked with National Grid to deliver projects across multiple technology areas, with colleagues from Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering leading the innovation to date. Dr Qiang Liu has worked extensively with National Grid to understand the performance of alternative fluids for transformers. Dr Tony Chen  has delivered a full-scale test capability that has evaluated alternatives to SF6. Professor Simon Rowland has worked to provide a better understanding of the environmental impact of overhead lines and techniques to better manage assets with composite insulation. Dr Haiyu Li has delivered the virtual substation acceptance test system that allows digital protection and control equipment to be evaluated before deployment. Dr Konstantinos Kopsidas has worked with National Grid on techniques to enhance the capacity and lifetime of overhead line assets. Dr Vidyadhar Peesapati, CEng has tested a range of asset management solutions that help understand the health of different assets found on the network, from overhead line insulators to cable sealing ends. There are many other examples of work that has taken place delivering real solutions that are finding their way onto the network at a time when it's essential we deliver net-zero.

“The relationship is not just about innovation; it's also been about training with multiple students from the University moving to work at National Grid.

“So, thanks to all colleagues from National Grid that we've worked with in the past and we're looking forward to the relationship continuing.”

National Grid has partnered with Manchester and five other universities as part of this innovation partnerships. These are Cardiff University / Prifysgol Caerdydd, The University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, University of Southampton and University of Strathclyde.

The partnership reflects the commitment of Manchester’s energy experts in delivering a just and prosperous net zero energy future. By matching science and engineering, with social science, economics, politics and arts, the University’s community of 600+ experts address the entire lifecycle of each energy challenge, creating innovative and enduring solutions to make a difference to the lives of people around the globe. This enables the university's research community to develop pathways to ensure a low carbon energy transition that will also drive jobs, prosperity, resilience and equality.

Energy is one of The University of Manchester’s research beacons - examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships that are tackling some of the biggest challenges facing the planet. #ResearchBeacons