Most relevant research achievements
All electric ship
The main topic of this activity is the study of new power system framework for both civil and military vessels. This research project addresses the issues regarding the development of a direct current (DC) power distribution grid in the vessels. Within this activity the Group activated two research contracts: one with Fincantieri (and the University of Trieste) and one with the Italian Navy.
Hybrid electric storage systems
The activity is focused on the study of the combined usage of supercapacitors and batteries in both automotive and industrial applications. Energy storage devices have been accurately modeled through electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and a direct method (i.e., with few measurements) for parameter estimation of supercapacitor model has been developed. A particular focus is devoted to the management of the hybrid storage device obtained by the combination of supercapacitors and batteries. Within the framework of this activity many research contracts have been activated: INDUSTRIA 2015 (leader: FIAT IVECO); Regione Lombardia (leader: DIMAC srl); and Ricerca di Sistema elettrico–RdS (commissioned by ENEA).
The activity on smart grid can be broken down into three main topics. - Direct current (DC) power distribution systems. The wide diffusion of power electronics has enabled the possibility of implementing DC distribution systems in some applications. Moreover the increasing importance of renewable distributed sources and energy storage devices (which are natively DC power sources) is fostering the study of DC distribution systems. Another key aspect which is addressed in this activity is the enhancement of energy efficiency in end-users applications. Within this research activity (and in the wider framework of Ricerca di Sistema elettrico–RdS projects) a DC test facility has been designed by the Group and later implemented in the already-existing test facility at RSE. In addition to this, a contract has been activated by RSE for the study of innovative supply systems based on DC distribution for public lightning systems with LED light bulbs. - Electric vehicles (EVs): analysis of the impact on distribution systems and charge optimization. The impact on distribution grids of electric vehicles (EVs) has been extensively studied. The possible actions, both from an end-user and a Distribution System Operator (DSO) viewpoint has been analyzed. An algorithm for the optimization of the charge phase of a large fleet of EVs in a distribution network has been designed and validated. Within this activity a strong collaboration with RSE has been established. - Optimal management, sizing and placement of energy storage devices. The combination of renewable energy sources and energy storage devices is of paramount importance for the best exploitation of the renewable energy itself. A study is being carried out in order to define the optimal management strategy of batteries in a distribution grid in order to minimize the losses. This research activity takes advantage of some statistical results of the Markovian processes. Within this activity a strong collaboration with CNR-IMATI has been established.
Study of novel supply devices for welding machines
The main aspect of this research activity is the study and design of supply devices of welding machines in order to reduce harmonic currents drawn from the grid and the flicker problem, thus reducing the “electric pollution” of these kind of loads with respect to the distribution grid.
Study of innovative electrical drives for road electric vehicles
The diffusion of both pure electric and hybrid vehicles is increasing year by year under the pressure of pollution and energy saving problems. For this reason, innovative electrical drives optimized for the management of energy source onboard are developed. In this scenario, the activity of the group is focused on pure electric vehicles for which the energy source is represented by electrochemical batteries. These batteries, at present, need a battery management system (BMS) for safety operations and to increase their lifetime. The research deals with the individuation of new power converter configurations capable of integrating the BMS function with the electrical drive functions. This activity is developed in collaboration with the University of Birmingham and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The interest of the industrial world for this activity is witnessed by Samsung that financed a PhD scholarship at the University of Birmingham.
Optimal use of solar source for electrical energy generation
Renewable energy sources represent, at present, an important topic for researchers all over the world. The research group is working, in particular, on photovoltaic (PV) systems analyzing two main aspects. The first one is connected with algorithms for maximum power point tracking (MPPT) while the second one analyzes the best configurations for series-parallel connection of PV modules in large plants. The interest of the scientific world about the research developed on MPPT algorithms is testified by the award for best paper published in 2010 on IET Renewable Power Generation developed in collaboration with the University of Naples Federico II . The activity on the optimal configurations for large plants is, instead, under developing in collaboration with the University of Sao Paulo (Brasil).