Externally-funded projects

Externally-funded projects

Energy Regeneration at the Malta Freeport Terminals
Funding Body: RIDT
Project Fund: EUR -
Principal Investigator: Dr C. Caruana
The aim of this project is to assess the current energy regeneration from the AC quay cranes and to look at different options to improve the benefit to MFT.

Electrical Energy Optimisation for the More Electric Aircraft
Funding Body: University of Malta Research Funds 2017 
Project Fund: EUR 60k 
Principal Investigator: Prof. C. Spiteri Staines
Co-Investigators: Prof. M. Apap, Dr C. Micallef 
Recent advances in power electronics applied to commercial aircraft technology (e.g. Airbus A380 and Boeing 787) brought about an increase in the use of aircraft electrical systems (actuation, wing ice protection, environmental control and fuel pumping). The study in this project shall focus on the simulation of a More Electric Aircraft (MEA) power system to determine the optimal configuration in power generation, distribution (energy management) and end use. The research shall model both the generation systems and the electrical loads (power converters and electrical machines) and shall look into AC and/or DC distributed power systems or a hybrid combination allowing for flexible system reconfiguration aimed at achieving efficient operation. The study shall also look at different flight mission scenarios for stable and efficient operation throughout the flight.

A Smart Micro Combined Heat and Power System (MICROCHP)
Funding Body: MCST (R&I-2015-047T)
Project Fund: EUR 195k
Principal Investigator: Prof. J. Cilia
Co-Investigator: Abertax Kemtronics Ltd     
Cogeneration or combined heat and power (CHP) is the use of a heat engine to simultaneously generate electricity and useful heat. In separate production of electricity, some energy must be discarded as waste heat, but in cogeneration this thermal energy is put to use. This system increases the overall energy efficiency of the generator from about 40% to above 85%. A micro-CHP has been designed at the University of Malta. The key design feature of the system is the fact that it treats the grid as an option and not as a compulsary source in meeting the energy needs of a household. The ability to operate off grid enables other renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic systems to continue operating during a power cut. The other advantage is that the micro-CHP uses a robust asynchronous machine which keeps the maintenance requirements to a minimum. A micro-CHP has been designed at the University of Malta. The key design feature of the system is the fact that it treats the grid as an option and not as a compulsary source in meeting the energy needs of a household. The ability to operate off grid enables other renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic systems to continue operating during a power cut.  The other advantage is that the micro-CHP uses a robust asynchronous machine which keeps the maintenance requirements to a minimum.

Smart Single Phase Motor Soft Starter Without Starting Capacitor (HDMS)
Funding Body: MCST (R&I-2016-035T)
Project Fund: EUR 195k
Principal Investigator: Carlo Gavazzi Ltd
Co-Investigator: Dr Reiko Raute
Single phase induction motors are widely used in domestic applications such as heat pumps. Problematic during the switch on of these motors is the large inrush current that can reach levels of x8 the nominal motor current. This high current can disturb the electric voltage supply. This disturbance of the electric power supply causes voltage dips or flickering to neighbouring customers. To reduce this effect soft starting devices have been developed. Their circuit is mostly based on thyristor semiconductors in combination with a starting capacitor. The size of the starting capacitor depends on the required starting torque. To limit the physical size of starting capacitors, electrolytic capacitors are commonly used. Practical experience has shown that these capacitors are the weakest link in the design and are susceptible to fail. Failure can result in small explosions, damaging surrounding installations and causing risk of fire.

https://www.um.edu.mt/eng/epc/ourresearch/fundedprojects