£4.8M funding boost to drive forward net zero ambitions

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The Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC), part of the University of Strathclyde, will receive £4.8M funding for pioneering equipment to help achieve the UK’s net zero ambitions.

The investment, from the Driving the Electric Revolution initiative at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), will enable the PNDC to expand its capabilities by acquiring a high-power integrated electric propulsion and powertrain accelerator.

The funding is part of a critical financial boost to nine facilities across the UK, and ‘Driving the Electric Revolution Scotland’ is one of four innovative Industrialisation Centres aiming to achieve net zero carbon and lower emissions in the UK supply chain.

Academic partnership

The PNDC is part of the UKRI funded DER Centre Scotland which is established through academic partnership between University of Strathclyde, including the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS); University of St Andrews; University of Edinburgh and University of Glasgow. Through investment and cross-sector collaboration, the Centres will coordinate with businesses across various industries and transport systems to augment their use of electric-powered vehicles and machines.

As well as its enhanced cross-sector partnerships between industry and academia, the PNDC’s unique facility is the most comprehensive destination to research, test and accelerate multi-vector energy systems. The UKRI investment will facilitate the opportunity to build on existing capabilities with a focus on: aerospace, marine, rail, energy (grid/generation) and off-highway transportation.

PNDC also has an up to one megawatt (1MW) test capability, allowing additional opportunities to test propulsion and powertrain systems at the MW scale, further positioning PNDC as a whole integrated energy system lead.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “This funding boost for PNDC is a major development for the transport sector and will provide critical advancements in working towards the UK’s net zero ambitions.

We have a long-standing and internationally recognised reputation for excellent research in electrical power systems, power electronics, machines and manufacturing technologies and I am delighted Strathclyde is playing such a central research and innovation role in this exciting project.”

Professor Will Drury, Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge Director said: “This investment represents a vital step forward in making the UK a world leader in Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD). With access to the Centres and network open to all, we aim to give all UK businesses and researchers the ability to develop and scale new PEMD technologies and manufacturing processes. Only by investing now in developing PEMD will the UK achieve its net zero ambitions.”

Until 30 June, UK registered businesses of any size can apply to Driving the Electric Revolution for a share of up to £22 million for innovation projects focused on supply chain development for power electronics, electric machines and drives.