• Electromagnetic wave absorption properties of ternary poly (vinylidene fluoride)/magnetite nanocomposites with carbon nanotubes and graphene

      Tsonos, Christos; Soin, Navneet; Tomara, Georgia N.; Yang, Bin; Psarras, Georgios C.; Kanapitsas, Athanasios; Siores, Elias; University of Chester (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2015-12-21)
      Ternary nanocomposite systems of poly(vinylidene fluoride)/magnetite/carbon nanotube (PVDF/Fe3O4/CNT) and poly(vinylidene fluoride)/magnetite/graphene (PVDF/Fe3O4/GN), were prepared using high shear twin screw compounding followed by compression moulding. The electromagnetic (EM) microwave absorption properties of the nanocomposites were investigated in the frequency range of 3–10 GHz. PVDF/Fe3O4/CNT samples with the thickness d = 0.7 mm present a minimum reflection loss (RL) of −28.8 dB at 5.6 GHz, while all the RL values in the measurement frequency range 3–10 GHz are lower than −10 dB. PVDF/Fe3O4/GN with a thickness of 0.9 mm, presents a minimum RL of −22.6 dB at 5.4 GHz, while all the RL values in the measurement frequency range 3–10 GHz are lower than −10 dB as well. The excellent microwave absorption properties of both nanocomposites, in terms of minimum RL value and broad absorption bandwidth, are mainly due to the enhanced magnetic losses. The results indicate that the ternary nanocomposites studied here, can be used as an attractive candidate for EM absorption materials in diverse fields of various technological applications, not only in the frequency range 3–10 GHz, but also at frequencies <3 GHz for PVDF/Fe3O4/CNT and >10 GHz for PVDF/Fe3O4/GN with a realistic thickness of close to 1 mm.
    • Atomic and vibrational origins of mechanical toughness in bioactive cement during setting

      Tian, Kun V.; Yang, Bin; Yue, Yuan-Zheng; Bowron, Daniel T.; Mayers, Jerry; Donnan, Robert S.; Dobo-Nagy, Csaba; Nicholson, John W.; Greer, A. Lindsay; Chass, Gregory A.; et al. (Nature Publishing Group, 2015-11-09)
      Bioactive glass ionomer cements (GICs) have been in widespread use for ~40 years in dentistry and medicine. However, these composites fall short of the toughness needed for permanent implants. Significant impediment to improvement has been the requisite use of conventional destructive mechanical testing, which is necessarily retrospective. Here we show quantitatively, through the novel use of calorimetry, terahertz (THz) spectroscopy and neutron scattering, how GIC’s developing fracture toughness during setting is related to interfacial THz dynamics, changing atomic cohesion and fluctuating interfacial configurations. Contrary to convention, we find setting is non-monotonic, characterized by abrupt features not previously detected, including a glass–polymer coupling point, an early setting point, where decreasing toughness unexpectedly recovers, followed by stress-induced weakening of interfaces. Subsequently, toughness declines asymptotically to long-term fracture test values. We expect the insight afforded by these in situ non-destructive techniques will assist in raising understanding of the setting mechanisms and associated dynamics of cementitious materials.
    • Active Power and DC Voltage Coordinative Control for Cascaded DC–AC Converter With Bidirectional Power Application

      Tian, Yanjun; Chen, Zhe; Deng, Fujin; Sun, Xiaofeng; Hu, Yanting; University of Chester (IEEE, 2015-10-31)
      Two stage-cascaded converters are widely used in dc–ac hybrid systems to achieve the bidirectional power transmission. The topology of dual active bridge cascaded with inverter DABCI) is commonly used in this application. This paper proposes a coordinative control method for DABCI and it is able to reduce the dc-link voltage fluctuation between the DAB and inverter, then reduce the stress on the switching devices, as well as improve the system dynamic performance. In the proposed control method, the DAB and inverter are coordinated to control the dc-link voltage and the power, and this responsibility sharing control can effectively suppress the impact of the power variation on the dc-link voltage, without sacrificing stability. The proposed control method is also effective for DABCI in unidirectional power transmission. The effectiveness of the propose control has been validated by both simulations and experiments.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • DC-Link Voltage Coordinated-Proportional Control for Cascaded Converter with Zero Steady-State Error and Reduced System Type

      Tian, Yanjun; Loh, Poh C.; Deng, Fujin; Chen, Zhe; Hu, Yanting; 1. Department of Energy Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark; 2. Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Chester, UK (IEEE, 2015-06-11)
      Cascaded converter is formed by connecting two sub-converters together, sharing a common intermediate DC-link voltage. Regulation of this DC-link voltage is frequently realized with a Proportional-Integral (PI) controller, whose high gain at DC helps to force a zero steady-state tracking error. Such precise tracking is however at the expense of increasing the system type, caused by the extra pole at the origin introduced by the PI controller. The overall system may hence be tougher to control. To reduce the system type while preserving precise DC-link voltage tracking, this paper proposes a coordinated control scheme for the cascaded converter, which uses only a proportional DC-link voltage regulator. The resulting converter is thus dynamically faster, and when compared with the conventional PI-controlled converter, it is less affected by impedance interaction between its two sub-converters. The proposed scheme can be used with either unidirectional or bidirectional power flow, and has been verified by simulation and experimental results presented in the paper.
    • 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, 2015-04-08)
      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.
    • Visual-Inertial 2D Feature Tracking based on an Affine Photometric Model

      Aufderheide, Dominik; Edwards, Gerard; Krybus, Werner; South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, University of Chester, South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences (Springer, 2015-04-08)
      The robust tracking of point features throughout an image sequence is one fundamental stage in many different computer vision algorithms (e.g. visual modelling, object tracking, etc.). In most cases, this tracking is realised by means of a feature detection step and then a subsequent re-identification of the same feature point, based on some variant of a template matching algorithm. Without any auxiliary knowledge about the movement of the camera, actual tracking techniques are only robust for relatively moderate frame-to-frame feature displacements. This paper presents a framework for a visual-inertial feature tracking scheme, where images and measurements of an inertial measurement unit (IMU) are fused in order to allow a wider range of camera movements. The inertial measurements are used to estimate the visual appearance of a feature’s local neighbourhood based on a affine photometric warping model.
    • 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.
    • Comparing Terahertz transmission response on pH-dependent apomyoglobin proteins dynamics with circular dichroism

      Qiu, Junyi; Yang, Bin; Sushko, Oleksandr; Pikersgill, Richard W.; Donnan, Robert S.; University of Chester (IEEE, 2014-12-08)
      Terahertz time domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) was used to study the transmission responses of pH-dependent apomyoglobin (ApoMb) dissolved solutions in 0.2-2.2 THz frequency domain, the THz-TDS technique was also benchmarked against circular dichroism (CD) by studying pH-related folding states changes of ApoMb protein. Results revealed that differences of pH-dependent ApoMb/water dynamics can be detected directly by the THz refractive index spectrum, and these differences are further proved to be caused mainly the effect of protonation of water and possibly water response leaded by protein conformation change.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Flicker mitigation strategy for a doubly fed induction generator by torque control

      Zhang, Yunqian Q.; Hu, Weihao; Chen, Zhe; Cheng, Ming; Hu, Yanting (IET, 2014-03)
      Owing to the rotational sampling of turbulence, wind shear and tower shadow effects grid connected variable speed wind turbines could lead to the power fluctuations which may produce flicker during continuous operation. A model of an megawatt (MW)-level variable speed wind turbine with a doubly fed induction generator is presented to investigate the flicker mitigation. Taking advantage of the large inertia of the wind turbine rotor, a generator torque control (GTC) strategy is proposed, so that the power oscillation is stored as the kinetic energy of the wind turbine rotor, thus the flicker emission could be reduced. The GTC scheme is proposed and designed according to the generator rotational speed. The simulations are performed on the national renewable energy laboratory 1.5 MW upwind reference wind turbine model. Simulation results show that damping the generator active power by GTC is an effective means for flicker mitigation of variable speed wind turbines during continuous operation. keywords: {asynchronous generators;oscillations;power generation control;torque control;wind power plants;wind turbines;GTC strategy;continuous operation;doubly fed induction generator;flicker emission;flicker mitigation strategy;generator active power;generator torque control;kinetic energy;megawatt-level variable speed wind turbine;power oscillation;tower shadow effects grid connected variable speed wind turbines;turbulence;upwind reference wind turbine model;variable speed wind turbines;wind shear;wind turbine rotor
    • Experimental demonstration of a transparent graphene millimetre wave absorber with 28% fractional bandwidth at 140 GHz

      Wu, Bian; Tuncer, Hatice M.; Naeem, Majid; Yang, Bin; Cole, Matthew T.; Milne, William I.; Hao, Yang; Queen Mary University of London (Nature Publishing Group, 2014-02-19)
      The development of transparent radio-frequency electronics has been limited, until recently, by the lack of suitable materials. Naturally thin and transparent graphene may lead to disruptive innovations in such applications. Here, we realize optically transparent broadband absorbers operating in the millimetre wave regime achieved by stacking graphene bearing quartz substrates on a ground plate. Broadband absorption is a result of mutually coupled Fabry-Perot resonators represented by each graphene-quartz substrate. An analytical model has been developed to predict the absorption performance and the angular dependence of the absorber. Using a repeated transfer-and-etch process, multilayer graphene was processed to control its surface resistivity. Millimetre wave reflectometer measurements of the stacked graphene-quartz absorbers demonstrated excellent broadband absorption of 90% with a 28% fractional bandwidth from 125-165 GHz. Our data suggests that the absorbers’ operation can also be extended to microwave and low-terahertz bands with negligible loss in performance.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Verification of calculation code THERM in accordance with BS EN ISO 10077-2

      Nammi, Sathish K.; Shirvani, Hassan; Shirvani, Ayoub; Edwards, Gerard; Whitty, Justin P. M.; Anglia Ruskin University, Anglia Ruskin University, Anglia Ruskin University, University of Chester, University of Central Lancashire (Anglia Ruskin Research Online, 2014)
      Calculation codes are useful in predicting the heat transfer features in the fenestration industry. THERM is a finite element analysis based code, which can be used to compute thermal transmittance of windows, doors and shutters. It is important to verify results of THERM as per BS EN ISO 10077-2 to meet the compliance requirements. In this report, two-dimensional thermal conductance parameters were computed. Three versions of THERM, 5.2, 6.3 and 7.1, were used at two successive finite element mesh densities to assess their comparability. The results were all compliant with the aforementioned British Standard.
    • Bacillus Spores and Their Relevant Chemicals Studied by Terahertz Time Domain Spectroscopy

      Tang, Jianhua; Yang, Bin; Llewellyn, Ian; Cutler, Ronald R.; Donnan, Robert S.; Queen Mary University of London; University of Bolton (Elsevier, 2013-12-28)
      Terahertz Time Domain Spectroscopy has been used to investigate 0.2 to 2.2 terahertz (THz) transmission responses of Bacillus spores and their related chemical components. Whilst no THz signatures could be clearly associated with either sporulated cells or their chief chemical components, differing degrees of signal attenuation and frequency-dependent light scattering were observed depending on spore composition and culture media. The observed monotonic increase in absorption by spores over this THz spectral domain is mainly from Mie scattering and also from remnant water bound to the spores.