Compressors developed at the Department of Engineering Science have
formed a key component of the cryocoolers used to cool the infra-red
sensors on satellites. Their low mass has trimmed almost $250k from the
cost of individual satellite missions. Sixty seven have been sold to date,
with sales totalling £2.8M between January 2008 and July 2013; three units
are currently in Earth orbit with another nine planned to follow in 2014.
A specialised version has been developed to achieve extremely low
temperatures, with prototypes already built for the Mid Infra-Red
Instrument (MIRI) that will form part of the James Webb Space Telescope.
Motors are at the heart of all electric machines. World-leading software
developed at the Scottish
Power Electronics and Electric Drives (SPEED) Laboratory at the University
of Glasgow has been
used to design thousands of new motors, enabling the manufacture of
millions of machines across
a range of industrial sectors. From compressors in refrigerators to the
motors in power tools,
SPEED has improved the design of products manufactured by over 60
companies across the world
including Bosch, General Motors, Grundfos and Rolls Royce. In 2011, the
SPEED Laboratory was
purchased by CD-adapco, the world's largest independent provider of
Research conducted since July 2008 by the University of East London in
collaboration with Control Techniques Dynamics (CTD), a leading
manufacturer of Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors (PMSMs), has led to
the development of a software tool called the PMSM analyser. This tool has
helped CTD to improve its motor design methodology by incorporating
electromagnetic, thermal and cost models, together with genetic
algorithms. In turn, the design optimisation allowed CTD to enhance motor
performance and reduce manufacturing time by 30-40%, leading to an
increase of 20% in company sales between 2008 and 2013. During the same
period the company was able to cut materials usage by 15%.
Research undertaken at City University London has identified new ways to
control vapour pockets, known as cavitation, that occur in diesel fuel
injection nozzles. These computational methods have led to the design and
manufacture of more durable and efficient fuel injectors that have been
taken into serial production and are now used by major engine and
component manufacturers such as Toyota, Caterpillar and Delphi. The
prevention of erosion by cavitation and the greater efficiency of the fuel
spray and combustion have generated economic benefits through a rise in
sales of advanced injection systems and an extended life for engine
components. Cleaner and more efficient engines in turn bring significant
Practical Waveform Engineering, developed at Cardiff, is having a major
impact on how modern- day microwave power amplifiers are designed,
delivering real competitive advantages for global communications companies
such as Nokia-Siemens-Networks and M/A-COM.
Economic impact is through reduced time-to-market and lower
design costs, leading to high- performance power amplifier products.
Examples include $40M revenue and employment of additional staff for
M/A-Com, and the successful spin-off company Mesuro Ltd., generating
revenue in excess of £2.5M.
Impact on practice is through successful demonstration of
new device technologies and amplifier architectures, the introduction of
PWE-based CAD models, and most significantly, the introduction of the
"Cardiff Model" into mainstream simulation tools.
Environmental Impact is by improving the efficiency of
power amplifiers and significantly reducing the carbon contribution of
mobile communications systems, translating into savings of approximately
£2.5M/year and a 17 kiloton reduction in CO2 emission for a
typical EU network.
Driven by concerns over public health and intensifying legislative
demands of the food industry in Europe and USA, the reliable and effective
removal of unwanted objects from food products at a processing stage is
increasingly important. The assurance of food quality and safety
throughout the pre- and post-harvest food chain makes this issue even more
significant. The effective implementation of relevant technological
solutions for food safety and quality can dictate the survival, growth and
competitive edge of some major sectors of the economy.
Food sorting machines are essential for eliminating unwanted food items
from the production process to ensure that quality is maintained at the
highest level for consumers. Key research at City University London has
led to the development of a unique solenoid actuator valve (ejector),
which opens and closes a high-pressure air jet in such machines to remove
defective food items more accurately and efficiently from the production
The sorting machines which use it have a fivefold improvement in consumer
food quality and safety and are 20% more energy efficient. Sales of these
machines have been enhanced by 50% as a consequence of these improvements.
The new valve delivers approximately 50% less food waste during the first
sorting pass and offers a fourfold reduction in power consumption,
contributing positively to global agricultural sustainability. The work
undertaken has also assisted the industrial partner in opening up a new
market for sorting machines for sorting plastics.
The Leicester Variwave project, in relation to electrostatic dust
precipitation, utilises a novel high voltage, high frequency, high power
transformer within the power supply, which has enabled cuts in industrial
emissions of ~50 per cent and considerable cost savings. Most new-build
power stations and many other industrial sites now use technology based on
that developed in Leicester. As well as fly ash and dust, the technology
has the ability to trap sub-micron particulates thought to be partly
responsible for the increase in the number of asthma cases during the past
few decades. The MD of [text removed for publication] states `Through
publications made by ...Leicester ...we were interested to learn how the
team designed their high voltage transformer, and how that transformer
operated with the high frequency, high power switched-mode electronics.
They achieved that `Holy Grail' combination [of high voltage, frequency,
high power] in a 70 kW switched-mode power supply (SMPS) running at 20
KHz and at 50 kV. The publication in the IEEE Transactions on Power
Delivery was very helpful, and enabled us to choose the direction when
pushing the design boundaries in developing our own high power, high
voltage technology for electrostatic precipitators'. Dr Devine, a
key member of the Leicester team between 1995 and 2000, was employed by
[text removed for publication] in 2001 purely on the basis of his
knowledge of Variwave. [text removed for publication] now have 200 units
in operation. In 2002 Dr Devine was head-hunted for his knowledge of
Variwave and moved to [text removed for publication], who also developed
commercial units. The uptake of the technology has been growing steadily
since 2001. Exemplar data from one company on the associated reduction in
emissions shows 195 switched mode power units installed in boiler plants
worldwide by 2004 gave a reduction of around 60%. A 60% reduction in
emissions is equivalent to a reduction from 40 mg.m-3 to 16
mg.m-3 of flue gas particulates. Since 2004 to date there are
now estimated to be at least 5000 units installed worldwide.
Research carried out at the University of Southampton has enabled major
players in the aerospace industry — among them Rolls-Royce, Airbus, and
Boeing — to produce more fuel efficient, longer lasting engines and
aircraft at reduced cost. The research has provided the aerospace industry
with modelling tools and software enabling companies to explore complex
new designs quickly whilst managing product risk in a competitive market.
The research team has also developed new design processes for unmanned
aircraft, which — as a result of strong media interest - improved public
understanding of such new technologies through worldwide coverage. A
spin-out company has achieved strong technological and economic impacts in
its own right.
The Computational Mechanics and Reliability Group at the University of
Greenwich has been developing design and materials modelling expertise and
tools for electronic manufacturing and reliability since the late 1990s.
This case study details economic and environmental impacts and impacts on
practitioners. In particular it shows how our expertise has:
Research in the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering
(DoEng), which made it
possible for the first time to design a 3D compressor blade as a single
the design of compressors in Rolls-Royce civil aero engines. Blades
designed using the research
results yielded fuel efficiency improvements of 0.8% when deployed in
Rolls-Royce Trent engines.
The efficiency improvements in engines in service are estimated to have
delivered savings of 460k
tonnes in CO2 emissions and USD 145 million in fuel costs
during the assessment period. Rolls-
Royce's outstanding order book for engines in which the technology made a
to efficiency is estimated to be worth GBP 27 billion at list prices as at
31 July 2013; orders
received during the assessment period are estimated to be worth GBP 18
billion at list prices.