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New energy-efficient insulation for electrical wires

13 May 2010 Southampton, University of

Engineers at the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) are working to develop prototype insulation systems that could lead to new high-efficiency electrical generators.

Professor Alun Vaughan ,Dr Paul Lewin and Dr Gabriele  Gherbaz at the University’s  Electrical Power Engineering group are  leading the University’s role in the €3 million EU-funded ANASTASIA (Advanced NAno-Structured TApeS for electrotechnical high power Insulating Applications).

The aim of the three-year project is to develop radically innovative electrical insulating tapes for use in generators and motors to improve the energy conversion efficiency of electrotechnical systems across Europe.

The team predicts that, at a European scale, a 0.2 percent gain in generator conversion efficiency could save the equivalent of 1000 MW (megawatts) which is comparable to one nuclear power plant or €1.5 billion.

“The current insulation systems used in generators are old fashioned and are rather thick, poor thermal conductors,” said Professor Vaughan.  “Our aim is to replace the current insulation tapes with new materials integrated with nanofilters to increase the ability to dissipate heat and withstand high electrics field strengths.”

The team will test three different approaches to come up with a prototype that will form the basis for use in new power networks; the ECS team will test the electrical properties of the schemes in their High Voltage Laboratory.

The other consortium members for this project are:

Von Roll Switzerland AG

Alstom Hydro


Politecnico di Torino

University of Montpelier 2

Institut de Recherche Hydro-Québec

Nottingham Trent University

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