• 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.
    • Quality-Control of UV offset Lithographicaly Printed Electronic-Ink by THz Technology

      Zeng, Yang; Donnan, Robert S.; Edwards, Marc R.; Yang, Bin; University of Chester (IEEE Conference Publications, 2017-10-16)
      In this paper, a novel quality-monitor method of inkjet-printed electronics based on terahertz (THz) sensing is presented. Specifically, two different approaches, namely THz reflection spectroscopy and THz near-field scanning, are proposed.
    • Research on the synchronization control strategy for microgrid-connected voltage source inverter

      Cao, Yuanzhi; Hu, Yanting; Hu, Rui; Chen, Jianfei (IEEE, 2015-06-30)
      Microgrid is intended and featured to be able to operate in both grid-connected and islanded mode to ensure high quality and reliable power supply. In order to achieve stable operation of the microgrid-connected voltage source inverter (MVSI) units under paralleled or grid-connected mode, a novel synchronization method based on droop control is proposed in this paper. The difference of phase and amplitude between different MVSI units is detected and is used to calculate the output frequency and amplitude of the MVSI. This method can smooth transfer the MVSI units from standalone mode to paralleled mode. The simulation and experimental results show that the proposed method is effective in achieving paralleled operation of the MVSI units.
    • Resolving nanoscopic structuring and interfacial THz dynamics in setting cements

      Song, Fu V.; Yang, Bin; Di Tommaso, Devis; Donnan, Robert S.; Chass, Gregory A.; Yada, Rickey Y.; Farrar, David H.; Tian, Kun V.; Queen Mary University of London; University of Chester; The University of British Columbia; McMaster University; Sapienza University of Rome (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2022-05-16)
      The setting dynamics of two commercial cements have been tracked over >24 hours of setting with non-destructive THz spectroscopy and neutron scattering. Two established glass ionomer cements (GICs) were measured, both exhibiting similar and commercially agreeable non-linear settings associated with changes in interfacial particle dynamics through variations in their collective low-energy vibrations. Structural evolutions in the ∼1–30 nm range were correlated with changes in small angle neutron scattering (SANS) profiles over setting. Accompanying models of the interfacial structures and the amorphous glass components of the cements helped make the dynamic and structural trends comprehensible. The combined observations helped elucidate key temporal features in the setting of the cements, whilst suggesting the functional role played by the THz vibrations, in particular at dynamically coordinated interfacial Al-atom pivots. The insights obtained could help evolve nano-scopic strategies to optimise cements and their eventual properties.
    • Smart guaranteed time-slot allocation algorithm for industrial wireless sensor networks emergency message transmission

      Chen, Qinyin; Hu, Yanting; Chen, Zhe; Davies, John N.; Excell, Peter (IET, 2015-04-01)
      This paper presents investigation on application of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) in wind power generation systems and highlights an important issue associated with the deadline for the delivery of messages among nodes based on the IEEE 802.15.4E standard. Owing to the limits of standard and the power system application requirements, this research proposes a smart guaranteed time slot (S-GTS) allocation algorithm which is based on the urgent/important matrix. This proposed algorithm promotes the utilisation of contention free period in a superframe. Besides, over seven GTSs can be allocated in a superframe, there are only seven GTSs that can be used in the standard. In addition, this study proves the value of BO and SO upper bound is 6 for the WSN application in power systems. Moreover, the network delay of S-GTS performs better than the 16-time-slot mechanism and i-GAME mechanism.
    • Spreadsheet tools to estimate the thermal transmittance and thermal conductivities of gas spaces of an Insulated Glazing Unit

      Nammi, Sathish K.; Shirvani, Hassan; Shirvani, Ayoub; Edwards, Gerard; Dunn, Jeremy; Anglia Ruskin University, Anglia Ruskin University, Anglia Ruskin University, University of Chester, Glazing Vision (Anglia Ruskin Research Online, 2014-03-31)
      An Insulated Glazing unit (IGU) is constructed with two or more layers of glass panes sealed together by gas spaces in-between. IGUs are prevalent in windows, doors and rooflights, primarily due to their improved thermal resistance. Today, most IGUs are either two or three layered. Adding further layers of glass improves thermal insulation but with the penalty of increased cost and weight. Low emissivity (Low-e) film coatings, when deposited on the glass panes, reduce long-wavelength radiative heat losses. Furthermore, filling the gas spaces with the inert gases (e.g. Argon, Krypton, Xenon and SF6), further reduce conduction and natural convection across the gap. In summary, higher thermal insulation performance of an IGU can be achieved with gas fillings and Low-e coatings on glass. This report discusses spreadsheets that have been developed, capable of estimating the thermal transmittance values of IGU, as per BS EN 673. The spreadsheet tools also have the ability to estimate the thermal conductivity of the gas spaces between the panes of IGU.
    • SrFe12O19 based ceramics with ultra-low dielectric loss in the millimetre-wave band

      Yu, Chuying; Zeng, Yang; Yang, Bin; Wylde, Richard; Donnan, Robert S.; Wu, Jiyue; Xu, Jie; Gao, Feng; Abrahams, Isaac; Reece, Michael J.; et al. (AIP Publishing, 2018-04-02)
      Non-reciprocal devices such as isolators and circulators, based mainly on ferromagnetic materials, require extremely low dielectric loss in order for strict power-link budgets to be met for millimetre (mm)-wave and terahertz (THz) systems. The dielectric loss of commercial SrFe12O19 hexaferrite was significantly reduced to below 0.002 in the 75 - 170 GHz band by thermal annealing. While the overall concentration of Fe2+ and oxygen vacancy defects is relatively low in the solid, their concentration at the surface is significantly higher, allowing for a surface sensitive technique such as XPS to monitor the Fe3+/Fe2+ redox reaction. Oxidation of Fe2+ and a decrease in oxygen vacancies is found at the surface on annealing, which is reflected in the bulk sample by a small change in unit cell volume. The significant decrease in dielectric loss property can be attributed to the decreased concentration of charged defects such as Fe2+ and oxygen vacancies through annealing process, which demonstrated that thermal annealing could be effective in improving the dielectric performance of ferromagnetic materials for various applications.
    • Structure and dielectric properties of double A-site doped bismuth sodium titanate relaxor ferroelectrics for high power energy storage applications

      Yang, Bin; Zhang, Hangfeng; Fortes, Dominic; Yan, Haixue; Abrahams, Isaac; University of Chester; Queen Mary University of London; Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
      The structural and dielectric properties of barium/strontium substituted Bi0.5Na0.5TiO3 were examined in compositions of general formula (Ba0.4Sr0.6TiO3)x(Bi0.5Na0.5TiO3)1-x. An average classic cubic perovskite structure is maintained from x = 0.5 to 1.0. The temperature dependence of dielectric properties of studied compositions shows relaxor-ferroelectric behaviour attributed to the existence of polar nano-regions. Ferroelectric measurements under variable temperature demonstrated two transitions from normal ferroelectric to relaxor-ferroelectric and relaxor-ferroelectric to paraelectric, at the dipole freezing temperature, Tf, and temperature of maximum permittivity, Tm, respectively. The obtained value of Tf coincides with the onset of linear thermal expansion of the cubic unit cell parameter obtained from high resolution powder neutron diffraction data. Careful analysis of the neutron diffraction data revealed no significant change in the average cubic structure from -263 to 150 C. However, changes in the Gaussian variance component of the neutron peak shape, reveal three distinct regions with transitions at about -100 and 100 C corresponding to the beginning and end of the dielectric dispersion seen in the permittivity and loss spectra. This variation in the Gaussian variance parameter is attributed to the activity of the polar nano-regions. The composition (Ba0.4Sr0.6)0.5(Bi0.5Na0.5)0.5TiO3 was found to exhibit the maximum recoverable energy storage density, with a value of 1.618 J cm-3 and 76.9% storage efficiency at a field of 17 kV mm-1.
    • Terahertz Characterisation of Lead-Free Dielectrics for Different Applications

      Zhang, Man; Zhang, Hangfeng; Jiang, Qinghui; Gao, Feng; Chen, Riqing; Zhang, Dou; Reece, Michael J.; Yang, Bin; Viola, Giuseppe; Yan, Haixue; et al. (American Chemical Society, 2021-11-02)
      In this Spotlight on Applications, we describe our recent progress on the terahertz (THz) characterization of linear and non-linear dielectrics for broadening their applications in different electrical devices. We begin with a discussion on the behavior of dielectrics over a broadband of frequencies and describe the main characteristics of ferroelectrics, as an important category of non-linear dielectrics. We then move on to look at the influence of point defects, porosity and interfaces, including grain boundaries and domain walls, on the dielectric properties at THz frequencies. Based on our studies on linear dielectrics, we show that THz characterization is able to probe the effect of porosities, point defects, shear planes and grain boundaries to improve dielectric properties for telecommunication applications. Further, we demonstrate that THz measurements on relaxor ferroelectrics can be successfully used to study the reversibility of the electric field-induced phase transitions, providing guidance for improving their energy storage efficiency in capacitors. Finally, we show that THz characterization can be used to characterize the effect of domain walls in ferroelectrics. In particular, our studies indicate that the dipoles located within domain walls provide a lower contribution to the permittivity at THz frequencies than the dipoles present in domains. The new findings could help develop a new memory device based on non-destructive reading operations using a THz beam.
    • Terahertz Characterisation of UV Offset Lithographically Printed Electronic-Ink

      Zeng, Yang; Edwards, Marc R.; Stevens, Robert; Bowen, John; Donnan, Robert S.; Yang, Bin; University of London; National University of Defense Technology; University of Chester; Nottingham Trent University; University of Reading (Elsevier, 2017-06-10)
      Inkjet-printed electronics are showing promising potential in practical applications, but methods for real-time, non-contact monitoring of printing quality are lacking. This work explores Terahertz (THz) sensing as an approach for such monitoring. It is demonstrated that alterations in the localised dielectric characteristics of inkjet-printed electronics can be qualitatively distinguished using quasi-optically-based, sub-THz reflection spectroscopy. Decreased reflection coefficients caused by the sintering process are observed and quantified. Using THz near-field scanning imaging, it is shown that sintering produces a more uniform spatial distribution of permittivity in the printed carbon patterns. Images generated using THz-TDS based imaging are presented, demonstrating the combination of high resolution imaging with quantification of complex permittivities. This work, for the first time, demonstrates the feasibility of quality control in printed electronic-ink with THz sensing, and is of practical significance to the development of in-situ and non-contact commercial-quality characterisation methods for inkjet-printed electronics.
    • Terahertz Probing Irreversible Phase Transitions Related to Polar Clusters in Bi0.5Na0.5TiO3-based Ferroelectric

      Yang, Bin; University of Chester (Wiley-VCH, 2020-02-16)
      Electric-field-induced phase transitions in Bi0.5Na0.5TiO3 (BNT)-based relaxor ferroelectrics are essential to the controlling of their electrical properties and consequently in revolutionizing their dielectric and piezoelectric applications. However, the fundamental understanding of these transitions is a long-standing challenge due to their complex crystal structures. Given the structural inhomogeneity at the nanoscale or sub-nanoscale in these materials, dielectric response characterization based on terahertz (THz) electromagnetic-probe beam-fields, is intrinsically coordinated to lattice dynamics during DC-biased poling cycles. The complex permittivity reveals the field-induced phase transitions to be irreversible. This profoundly counters the claim of reversibility, the conventional support for which, is based upon the peak that is manifest in each of four quadrants of the current-field curves. The mechanism of this irreversibility is solely attributed to polar clusters in the transformed lattices. These represent an extrinsic factor which is quiescent in the THz spectral domain.
    • Terahertz probing of low temperature degradation in zirconia bioceramics

      Ahmed, Shafique; Zhang, Man; Koval, Vladimir; Zou, Lifong; Shen, Zhijian; Chen, Riqing; Yang, Bin; Yan, Haixue; Queen Mary University of London; Mehran University of Engineering and Technology; Institute of Materials Research; Stockholm University; Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University; University of Chester (Wiley, 2021-09-19)
      ZrO2 based ceramics are widely used in biomedical applications due to its colour, biocompatibility, and excellent mechanical properties. However, low temperature degradation (LTD) introduces a potential risk for long-term reliability of these materials. The development of innovative non-destructive techniques, which can explore LTD in zirconia-derived compounds, is strongly required. Yttria stabilised zirconia, 3Y-TZP, is one of the well-developed ZrO2 based ceramics with the improved resistance to LTD for dental crown and implant applications. Here, 3Y-TZP ceramic powders were pressed and sintered to study the LTD phenomenon by phase transition behaviour. The LTD driven tetragonal-to-monoclinic phase transition was confirmed by XRD. XPS analysis demonstrated the LTD induced the reduction of oxygen vacancies to support these findings. It is proved that after the degradation the 3Y-TZP ceramics show the decreased dielectric permittivity at terahertz frequencies due to the crystallographic phase transformation. Terahertz non-destructive probe is a promising method to investigate LTD in zirconia ceramics.