Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Centre for Sustainable Power Distribution

Our people


Contact us

Tel: +44 (0) 1225 386330


The Centre for Sustainable Power Distribution aims to help cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. 

Our work focuses on making energy supply systems more secure, reliable and efficient.

We are at the forefront of research into smart grids, which balance the needs of generators and users and make greater use of renewable energy. Our sponsors include major power companies.

Success stories

We have installed Britain's first local DC computer network in the University library. The system runs 50 specially adapted computers and is quieter, faster and more efficient than the previous network. It could lower the University's energy costs by £25,000 a year.

We have written network charging methodologies for several generating companies. A study by electricity watchdog Ofgem said our ideas could save £200m in long-term development costs.

We are also working with Airbus to explore using superconducting technologies, including cables and machines, for future electric aircraft. This electrification can significantly reduce carbon emissions in the aviation industry. Find out more at our Applied Superconductivity Laboratory.

What are we working on?

Our High Energy and Power Density Solutions to Large Energy Deficits (HEAPD) project is committed to finding low-carbon solutions to increasing energy demands worldwide. HEAPD is an EPSRC (EP/K036211/1) and Indian Research Council (DST) funded research consortium, formed of universities in the UK and India.

We have recently launched the Advancing renewable energy integration by innovative superconductor-battery storage systems project. This five-year research project will, for the first time deliver a prototype superconductor-battery energy storage system for renewable grid applications.

In detail

The Centre for Sustainable Power Distribution is widely recognised as a centre of research excellence within the area of electrical power and energy systems.

We research all aspects of power generation, transmission and distribution. We have internationally recognised expertise in:

  • power system planning
  • operation and management
  • security and stability analysis of large system
  • control and protection of power system
  • distributed generation
  • power system economic and market operation
  • condition monitoring and protection of power plants
  • applied superconductivity including energy storage and cables
  • novel high power density electric machines
  • fault current limiters for both AC and DC applications.

We are heavily involved in EPSRC's Supergen programme, dealing with issues of:

  • sustainable power generation and supply
  • future network technologies: ensuring the continuance a reliable supply of power to the UK
  • energy Storage: developing hybrid energy storage devices including superconductors, supercapacitors and batteries.

Our main areas of research are:

  • applied superconductivity
  • energy storage
  • fault current limiters for both AC and DC applications
  • power system planning, operation and management
  • control and protection of power systems
  • modeling and simulation of extended electrical power networks
  • sustainable and renewable energy generation and integration
  • power system security and stability analysis
  • power system dynamic analysis
  • wind speed modelling and wind power forecasting
  • flexible AC transmission systems
  • distribution generation
  • power system emergency control and restoration
  • power electronics
  • power system economics.

We have substantial co-operative research grants and contracts from research councils and manufacturing and utilities companies. We also welcome many visiting fellows from overseas institutions and companies.

We are funded by:

  • Airbus
  • National Grid
  • Western Power Distribution
  • Toshiba
  • Ofgem
  • Scottish Power
  • Areva
  • Scottish and Southern Energy
  • Midlands Energy
  • Garrad Hassan.

Our equipment includes:

  • a state-of-the-art real-time digital simulator system (RTDS)
  • a micro-grid system
  • fly-wheel energy storage devices
  • characterisation facility for superconductors
  • superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage devices/ Hybrid energy storage devices
  • high current AC/DC power supplies
  • energy storage test platform
  • machine test platform.