• Hybrid Heat Pump for Micro Heat Network

      Counsell, John M.; Khalid, Yousaf; Stewart, M.; University of Chester (World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology (WASET), 2017-10-17)
      Achieving nearly zero carbon heating continues to be identified by UK government analysis as an important feature of any lowest cost pathway to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Heat currently accounts for 48% of UK energy consumption and approximately one third of UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Heat Networks are being promoted by UK investment policies as one means of supporting hybrid heat pump based solutions. To this effect the RISE (Renewable Integrated and Sustainable Electric) heating system project is investigating how an all-electric heating sourceshybrid configuration could play a key role in long-term decarbonisation of heat. For the purposes of this study, hybrid systems are defined as systems combining the technologies of an electric driven air source heat pump, electric powered thermal storage, a thermal vessel and micro-heat network as an integrated system. This hybrid strategy allows for the system to store up energy during periods of low electricity demand from the national grid, turning it into a dynamic supply of low cost heat which is utilized only when required. Currently a prototype of such a system is being tested in a modern house integrated with advanced controls and sensors. This paper presents the virtual performance analysis of the system and its design for a micro heat network with multiple dwelling units. The results show that the RISE system is controllable and can reduce carbon emissions whilst being competitive in running costs with a conventional gas boiler heating system.
    • Impedance coordinative control for cascaded converter in bidirectional application

      Tian, Yanjun; Deng, Fujin; Chen, Zhe; Sun, Xiaofeng; Hu, Yanting; University of Chester (IEEE, 2015-06-30)
      Two stage cascaded converters are widely used in bidirectional applications, but the negative impedance may cause system instability. Actually the impedance interaction is much different between forward power flow and reversed power flow, which will introduce more uncertainty to the system stability. This paper proposes a control method for the constant power controlled converter in cascaded system, and consequently it can change the negative impedance of constant power converter into resistive impedance, which will improve the cascaded system stability, as well as merge the impedance difference between forward and reversed power flow. This paper addresses the analysis with the topology of cascaded dual-active-bridge converter (DAB) with inverter, and the proposed control method can also be implemented in unidirectional applications and other general cascaded converter system. The effectiveness has been validated by both simulation and experimental results.
    • Impedance interaction modeling and analysis for bidirectional cascaded converters

      Tian, Yanjun; Deng, Fujin; Chen, Zhe; Sun, Xiaofeng; Hu, Yanting (2015-06-30)
      For the cascaded converter system, the output impedance of source converter interacts with the input impedance of load converter, and the interaction may cause the system instability. In bidirectional applications, when the power flow is reversed, the impedance interaction also varies, which brings more uncertainty to the system stability. An investigation is performed here for showing that the forward and reverse interactions are prominently different in terms of dynamics and stability even though the cascaded converter control remains unchanged. An important guideline has been drawn for the control of the cascaded converter. That is when voltage mode converter working as the load converter; the constant power mode converter as the source converter, the system is more stable. The concluded findings have been verified by simulation and experimental results.
    • Isolation of a Ferroelectric Intermediate Phase in Antiferroelectric Dense Sodium Niobate Ceramics

      Yang, Bin; Zhang, Hangfeng; Yan, Haixue; Abrahams, Isaac; Queen Mary University of London; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2019-08-22)
      Switchable ferroelectric/antiferroelectric ceramics are of significant interest for high power energy storage applications. Grain size control of this switching is an interesting approach to controlling polarization and hence dielectric properties. However, the use of this approach in technologically relevant ceramics is hindered by difficulty in fabricating dense ceramics with small grain sizes. Here an intermediate polar ferroelectric phase (P21ma) has been isolated in dense bulk sodium niobate ceramics by grain size control through spark plasma sintering methods. Our findings, supported by XRD, DSC, P-E (I-E) loops and dielectric characterization, provide evidence that the phase transition from the antiferroelectric (AFE) R-phase, in space group Pnmm, above 300 C, to the AFE P-phase, in space group Pbma, at room temperature, always involves the polar intermediate P21ma phase and that the P21ma to Pbma transition can be suppressed by reducing grain size.
    • Low permittivity cordierite-based microwave dielectric ceramics for 5G/6G telecommunications

      Lou, Weichao; Mao, Minmin; Song, Kaixin; Xu, Kuiwen; Liu, Bing; Li, Wenjun; Yang, Bin; Qi, Zeming; Zhao, Jianwei; Sun, Shikuan; et al. (Elsevier, 2022-02-01)
      5G and forthcoming 6G communication systems require dielectric ceramics with low relative permittivity (εr) and near-zero temperature coefficient of resonant frequency (τf) for the lower part of the microwave (MW) band and at sub-Terahertz. Mg2Al4Si5O18 (MAS) ceramics are promising candidates due to their low εr (~6) and high-quality factor (Q×f >40,000 GHz) but have a large f. In this study, 5.5wt% TiO2 (MAS-T5.5) was used to adjust τf of MAS to -2.8 ppm/℃ whilst retaining low εr (5.24) and good Q×f (33,400 GHz), properties consistent with those obtained by infrared reflectance. A demonstrator microstrip patch antenna with gain 4.92dBi and 76.3% efficiency was fabricated from MAS-T5.5.
    • Mechanism between Material Microstructures and Terahertz Dielectric Properties

      Yang, Bin; University of Chester (IEEE, 2019-10-21)
      Significant progress has been made in developing reliable Terahertz (THz) measurement spectroscopy to extract materials’ dielectric properties, however, systematic research on exploring intrinsic mechanism between microstructure of ceramics and THz dielectric properties such as loss, permittivity and dispersive characters has barely started. The paper focuses on one dielectric ceramic system (TiO2), its addition with Zn2SiO4 dielectrics and one hexa-ferromagnetic system to expatiate the association.
    • Micromachined Thick Mesh Filters for Millimeter-Wave and Terahertz Applications

      Wang, Yi; Yang, Bin; Tian, Yingtao; Donnan, Robert S.; Lancaster, Michael J.; University of Bolton (IEEE, 2014-03-01)
      This paper presents several freestanding bandpass mesh filters fabricated using an SU-8 based micromachining technique. The important geometric feature of the filters, which SU8 is able to increase, is the thickness of the cross-shaped micromachined slots. This is 5 times its width. This thickness offers an extra degree of control over the resonance characteristics. The large thickness not only strengthens the structures, but also enhances the resonance quality factor (Q-factor). A 0.3 mm thick, single layer, mesh filter resonant at 300 GHz has been designed, fabricated and its performance verified. The measured Q-factor is 16.3 and the insertion loss is 0.98 dB. Two multi-layer filter structures have also been demonstrated. The first one is a stacked structure of two single mesh filters producing a double thickness, which achieved a further increased Q-factor of 27. This is over six times higher than a thin mesh filter. The second multi-layer filter is an electromagnetically coupled structure forming a two-pole filter. The coupling characteristics are discussed based on experimental and simulation results. These thick mesh filters can potentially be used for sensing and material characterization at millimeter-wave and terahertz frequencies.
    • Microstructure and broadband dielectric properties of Zn2SiO4 ceramics with nano-sized TiO2 addition

      Weng, Zhangzhao; Song, Chunxiao; Xiong, Zhaoxian; Xue, Hao; Sun, Wenfeng; Zhang, Yan; Yang, Bin; Reece, Michael J.; Yan, Haixue; Xiamen University; Capital Normal University; University of Chester; Queen Mary, University of London; China Electronic Product Reliability and Environmental Testing Research Institute (Elsevier, 2019-04-06)
      Zn2SiO4 ceramics with nano-sized TiO2 addition (ZST) were synthesized by conventional solid state method. The association between the new composite’s microstructures and dielectric properties reveals that reduced pores, increased density and average grain sizes with increasing sintering temperatures, have contributed to the increased permittivities at kHz and microwave bands; the decrease of the permittivities at 1275 0C is due to the form of twin planes. At the terahertz band, the competition of generating oxygen vacancies and forming them into twin crystallographic shear planes dominates the change of permittivities: the crystallographic shear planes decrease the permittivity at the sintering temperature 12250C and 12500C, and the high-rate generation of oxygen vacancies at 1275 0C increases the permittivities. The ZST ceramics demonstrate stable permittivity and low dielectric losses (<10-3 from 10 kHz to microwave band; and < 10-2 at THz range); and the temperature coefficient of resonant frequency is optimized to close zero. These advanced dielectric properties and low sintering temperature (<13000C) provide the ZST ceramics great potential in designing microwave and THz devices.
    • Microwave and terahertz dielectric properties of MgTiO3–CaTiO3 ceramics

      Huang, Jinbao; Yang, Bin; Yu, Chuying; Zhang, Guang; Xue, Hao; Xiong, Zhaoxian; Viola, Giuseppe; Donnan, Robert S.; Yan, Haixue; Reece, Michael J.; et al. (Elsevier, 2015-10-05)
      The THz dielectric properties of MgTiO3–CaTiO3 ceramics are reported. The ceramics were prepared via a solid-state reaction route and the sintering conditions were optimized to obtain ceramics with high permittivity and low loss in the terahertz frequency domain. The amount of impurities (MgTi2O5) and grain size increased with increasing sintering temperature. The dielectric properties improved with increasing density, and the best terahertz dielectric performance was obtained at 1260 °C, with a permittivity of 17.73 and loss of 3.07×10−3. Ceramics sintered above 1260 °C showed a sharp increase in loss, which is ascribed to an increase in the impurity content.
    • Millimeter-Wave Free-Space Dielectric Characterization

      Liu, Xiaoming; Gan, Lu; Yang, Bin; Anhui Normal University; Wuhu CEPREI Information Industry Technology Research Institute; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2021-05-07)
      Millimeter wave technologies have widespread applications, for which dielectric permittivity is a fundamental parameter. The non-resonant free-space measurement techniques for dielectric permittivity using vector network analysis in the millimeter wave range are reviewed. An introductory look at the applications, significance, and properties of dielectric permittivity in the millimeter wave range is addressed first. The principal aspects of free-space millimeter wave measurement methods are then discussed, by assessing a variety of systems, theoretical models, extraction algorithms and calibration methods. In addition to conventional solid dielectric materials, the measurement of artificial metamaterials, liquid, and gaseous-phased samples are separately investigated. The pros of free-space material extraction methods are then compared with resonance and transmission line methods, and their future perspective is presented in the concluding part.
    • Multiscale Understanding of Electric Polarization in Poly(vinylidene fluoride)-Based Ferroelectric Polymers

      Yang, Bin; Meng, Nan; Xintong, Ren; Zhu, Xiaojing; Wu, Jiyue; Gao, Feng; Zhang, Han; Liao, Yaozu; Bilotti, Emiliano; Reece, Michael; et al.
      Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and PVDF-based copolymers with trifluoroethylene (PVDF-TrFE) have attracted considerable academic and industrial interest due to their ferroelectric properties, which are only presented in very few polymers. However, the underlying fundamentals of molecular ordering and induced polarizations are complex and not fully understood. Herein, PVDF, PVDF-TrFE and their blends, prepared using melt extrusion and hot pressing, have been selected to obtain controlled case studies with well-defined chain ordering and microstructures. Impedance analysis and terahertz time-domain spectroscopy are exploited to investigate electric polarization in PVDF-based polymers at different length scales. The extruded ferroelectric films show in-plane chain orientation and higher domain wall density compared to hot pressed films with randomly-distributed polymer chains, which favors the polarization at low frequencies (Hz to MHz), as concluded from the higher dielectric constants and more prominent high electric field polarization switching features. However, the domain walls cannot respond at high frequencies, which leads to lower dielectric constants in the extruded films at THz frequencies.
    • A Novel Double-Threshold Neural Classifier for Non-Linearly Separable Applications

      Kashif, Mohd; Rahman, Syed Atiqur; Ansari, Mohammad Samar; Aligarh Muslim University; University of Chester
      Classification of data finds applications in various engineering and scientific problems. When real-time operation is desired, hardware solutions tend to be more amenable as compared to algorithmic/heuristic solutions. This paper presents a novel current-mode dual-threshold neuron designed and implemented at 32nm CMOS technology node. Subsequently, a current-mode double-threshold classifier is presented which is capable of classifying input patterns of non-linearly separable problems. Thereafter, application of the current-mode dual-threshold neuron in the realization of the XOR function using only a single neural unit is discussed. The proposed neuron as well as both the applications discussed are capable of operating from sub-1V power supplies. Computer simulations using HSPICE yield promising results with the values of delay and power consumption estimated to be lower than existing circuits.
    • Overcurrent relays coordination optimisation methods in distribution systems for microgrids: a review

      Abeid, S; Hu, Yanting; University of Chester
      Electric power networks connected with multiple distributed generations (microgrids) require adequate protection coordination. In this paper, the overcurrent relay coordination concept in distribution system has been presented with details. In this available literature, the previous works on optimisation methods utilised for the coordination of over current relays; classification has been made based on the optimisation techniques, non-standard characteristics, new constraints that have been proposed for optimal coordination and dual setting protection schemes. Then a comprehensive review has been done on optimisation techniques including the conventional methods, heuristic and hybrid methods and the relevant issues have been addressed.
    • Perovskite Srx(Bi1-xNa0.97-xLi0.03)0.5TiO3 ceramics with polar nano regions for high power energy storage

      Wu, Jiyue; Mahajan, Amit; Riekehr, Lars; Zhang, Hangfeng; Yang, Bin; Meng, Nan; Zhang, Zhen; Yan, Haixue; Queen Mary University of London; Uppsala University; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2018-06-06)
      Dielectric capacitors are very attractive for high power energy storage. However, the low energy density of these capacitors, which is mainly limited by the dielectric materials, is still the bottleneck for their applications. In this work, lead-free single-phase perovskite Srx(Bi1-xNa0.97-xLi0.03)0.5TiO3 (x=0.30 and 0.38) bulk ceramics, prepared using solid-state reaction method, were carefully studied for the dielectric capacitor application. Polar nano regions (PNRs) were created in this material using co-substitution at A-site to enable relaxor behaviour with low remnant polarization (Pr) and high maximum polarization (Pmax). Moreover, Pmax was further increased due to reversible electric field induced phase transitions. Comprehensive structural and electrical studies were performed to confirm the PNRs and the reversible phase transitions. And finally a high energy density (1.70 J/cm3) with an excellent efficiency (87.2%) was achieved using the contribution of PNRs and field-induced transitions in this material, making it among the best performing lead-free dielectric ceramic bulk material for high energy storage.
    • The power of VNA-driven quasi-optics to sense group molecular action in condensed phase systems

      Donnan, Robert S.; Tian, Kun V.; Yang, Bin; Chass, Gregory A.; University of Chester (2014-12-08)
      The versatility for quasi-optical circuits, driven by modern vector network analysers, is demonstrated for the purpose of low energy (meV) coherent spectroscopy. One such example is shown applied to the curing dynamics of a non-mercury-based dental cement. This highlights the special place the methodology holds as a `soft-probe' to reveal the time-resolved energetics of condensed phased systems as they self-organise to adopt their low energy state.
    • Power System with Variable Speed Wind Turbine and Diesel Generation Units

      Hu, Yanting; Chen, Zhe; Glyndwr; Aalborg University (EER, 2014-01-20)
      Thispaper presents a power system consisting of wind turbines, diesel generation units, and energy storage system. Both wind turbines and diesel engine adopt variable speed operation mode;and power electronic interface are used for the generation units which provide flexible and wide range of control on the power. The system configuration, characteristics, operation principles are presented. The controller and control strategies are discussed. The simulation studies have been performed and the results are presented.
    • Probing NaCl hydrate formation from aqueous solutions by Terahertz Time-Domain Spectroscopy

      Yang, Bin; University of Chester
      The cooling-induced formation of hydrate in aqueous NaCl solutions was probed using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS). It was found that the NaCl hydrate formation is accompanied with emergence of four new absorption peaks at 1.60, 2.43, 3.34 and 3.78 THz. Combining the X-ray diffraction measurement with the solid-state based density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we assign the observed terahertz absorption peaks to the vibrational modes of the formed NaCl⋅2H2O hydrate during cooling. This work dedicates THz-TDS based analysis great potential in studying ionic hydrate and the newly revealed collective vibrational modes could be the sensitive indicators to achieve quantitative analysis in phase transitions and lattice dynamics.
    • Programmable logic controllers and Direct digital controls in Buildings

      Khalid, Yousaf; University of Chester (2018-09-30)
      The concept of programmable logic controller (PLC) originated over the last century that has revolutionised the industrial sector. In the last few decades PLC in the form of DDC has been commonly used in Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS). The contribution of this work is to analyse PLC/DDC role in the ongoing BEMS advancements in the building sector. Currently DDC are not understood by building design and simulation engineers who assess the controllability of the building in practice. This paper would enhance the understanding of integrating DDC in buildings and influence creation of better modelling and simulation tools for assessing their impact on energy performance in practice.
    • Q-V droop control using fuzzy logic and reciprocal characteristic

      Wang, Lu; Hu, Yanting; Chen, Zhe; Glyndwr University; Aalborg University (Engineering and Technology Publishing, 2014-01-01)
      Today, the conventional power system is facing some global environmental problems, which is leading to a new trend of power grid by using “green and clear” energy sources. As the platform of smart grid technology, the microgrid associated with distributed energy resources (DERs) may provide electric power at distributed voltage level, which not only is an autonomous system, but also can be connected to the main grid. To improve the stability and controllability of the power grid, this paper presents an improved Q-V droop control strategy using fuzzy logic controller and reciprocal characteristic. Matlab/Simulink is used for analysing the performance of system. The feasibility of the improved droop control strategy has been verified and discussed. The results demonstrate the improved Q-V droop control strategy could have good effects in grid-connected and islanded mode, and during operation mode transitions.
    • Quality Mapping of Offset Lithographic Printed Antenna Substrates and Electrodes by Millimeter-Wave Imaging

      Zhang, Jiao; Tang, Jianhua; Sun, Wenfeng; Zhang, Yan; Yang, Bin; Wang, Xinke; University of Chester (MDPI, 2019-06-14)
      Offset lithographic printed flexible antenna substrate boards and electrodes have attracted much attention recently due to the boost of flexible electronics. Unmanned quality inspection of these printed substrate boards and electrodes demands high-speed, large-scale and nondestructive methods, which is highly desired for manufacturing industries. The work here demonstrates two kinds of millimeter (mm)-wave imaging technologies for the quality (surface uniformity and functionality parameters) inspection of printed silver substrates and electrodes on paper and thin polyethylene film, respectively. One technology is a mm-wave line scanner system and the other is a terahertz-time domain spectroscopy-based charge-coupled device (CCD) imaging system. The former shows the ability of detecting transmitted mm-wave amplitude signals only; its detection is fast in a second time scale and the system shows great potential for the inspection of large-area printed surface uniformity. The latter technology achieves high spatial resolution images of up to hundreds of micrometers at the cost of increased inspection time, in a time scale of tens of seconds. With the exception of absorption rate information, the latter technology offers additional phase information, which can be used to work out 2D permittivity distribution. Moreover, its uniformity is vital for the antenna performance. Additionally, the results demonstrate that compression rolling treatment significantly improves the uniformity of printed silver surfaces and enhances the substrate’s permittivity values.