Power Electronics Skills Competition – enabling a resilient energy system

Calling for Power Electronics innovators to help enable a resilient energy system and address some of the high level challenges facing the Energy industry.

The IET Energy Sector is actively promoting the Technology Strategy Board’s (TSB) competition to “ Enable a Resilient Energy System new window ” in conjunction with the Electronics Sensors & Photonics and Energy Generation & Supply Knowledge Transfer Networks.

The TSB, Welsh Government and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are jointly investing up to £1m to establish new Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) in the area of Power Electronics.

Power electronics is considered key to enabling a resilient energy system for a future UK energy mix which will include a larger percentage of renewables, connectivity to a European super-grid, community energy systems, and electric vehicle charging.

Power electronics provides a way of controlling all areas of our energy system – from gigawatts (GW) at a national level, to kilowatts (kW) at a community level – and is a necessary and important component for delivering future resilient energy systems. Information and communication technologies between key parts of the system are also essential to enable this control to happen, as well as technology development in new materials, manufacturing, monitoring and a number of other technologies. The challenges of delivering a UK energy system fit for the future requires a collaborative, systems approach with design in mind at an early stage, to produce ‘right first time’ solutions

The aim of this competition is to stimulate and support supply chain innovation in power electronics and the energy sector. It is part of a £5.4m programme and is running in parallel with a £4.4m TSB investment in power electronics.

The winning organisations will be encouraged to share knowledge across projects, which will facilitate effective links to the UK research base, including the developing EPSRC National Centre for Power Electronics. This will give the businesses and students involved, access to knowledge and expertise held by a range of academic groups with different perspectives on the high-level challenges facing the industry.


Support is offered for businesses looking to bring forward innovative projects that link power electronics to resilient energy systems. Proposals that can address one or more of the following challenges will be considered:

  • Development of power electronics devices, components, converters and systems that ensure distribution networks are able to accommodate increasing levels of embedded generation and emerging technologies; such as energy storage and electric vehicle charging networks and other low carbon technologies;
  • Innovative materials, device, component and monitoring technologies that can help improve system performance and manage reliability by reducing costs, losses, and the need for maintenance of systems that are required to operate in a range of extreme environments;
  • Systems approaches to reduce costs, enable simpler systems through standardisation – including development of appropriate ICT embedded systems, control systems and early stage design;
  • Devices, components, products and processes that can be transferred from other markets and can meet the challenges of the energy sector e.g. transport, aerospace, manufacturing and the built environment;
  • Development of megawatt-scale (MW) power electronics devices, components, converters and systems for the conversion of variable voltage inputs into fixed voltage for connection to the grid from new renewable generation plants – including aggregated community scale renewables. i.e. virtual power plants utilising a number of renewable options such as wind turbines, photovoltaic systems, tidal generators and other low carbon technologies;
  • Development of MW-scale converters in Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) to support the existing AC grid;
  • High voltage DC systems using GW-scale power electronics converters to boost voltages for transmission over long distances – for application in offshore wind and the European super-grid.

The targeted call opened on 4 February 2013, deadline for applications is 19 June 2013.

For more information visit the competition website or call 0300 321 4357 or email.

Alternatively, attend the forthcoming event where detailed information will be given on the current KTP competition in Resilient Energy from the Technology Strategy Board.  

Funding for R&D: How to get on the ladder with KTP and Smart awards
Wed 10 Apr 2013 10:00 – 16:00

If you have any questions, comments or would like to be involved in any of this work then please get in touch with Gordon Graham, IET Energy Sector Head.

UWE Exhibition and Conference Centre, Bristol BS34 8QZ