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Electricity utilization and components

Topics of the research area

The activity focuses on the analysis of:

- Modelling of electric power transformer response to electromagnetic transients;

- Transient recovery voltages in medium voltage vacuum circuit breakers;

- Capacitors: for medium and low voltage;

- Ni-Zn batteries performances for hybrid light-vehicles applicationsparticularly referred to models and algorithms for charge state estimation;

- In-situ vitrification of contaminated soils by means of Joule effect: development and implementation of a pilot-scale power supply system and its control.

The description of some research projects is reported here below. A list of publications and some presentations of the research activities are shown in the linked pages.


  • LV self-healing metallized polypropylene capacitors for power applications
    The research activity is carried out in coordination with the Cigré WG Capacitors, headed by D. Zanobetti, and with the support of some local manufacturers. It deals with all-film capacitors for MV applications and with LV self-healing polypropylene capacitors. Concerning the first technology, the results of an experimental investigation carried at the Department laboratory with the aim of assessing the influence of type of dielectric liquid and of the type of electrode edge on the working gradient have been published. The comparison with the mixed paper-dielectric technology has also been accomplished. Concerning metalized polypropylene capacitors, the research activity is aimed at studying the behavior of such components in transient conditions (pulse regimes) typical of the power electronic applications. The research activity is developed in collaboration with the research group Electrical Measure headed by M. Rinaldi. One of the obtained results is the identification of the causes that produce the heads separation of such a kind of capacitors when they are used in the above mentioned applications.


  • Analysis of Ni-Zn batteries performances for hybrid light-vehicles applications
    As recent progresses in the technology of the Ni-Zn batteries have a direct influence on the improvement of the performance of hybrid electric vehicles, this research is conceived to evalu­atethe progresses of these batteries in comparison with advanced lead-acid elements. The purpose was to assess the short term perform­ances of both types of elements when employed on hybrid light electric vehicles. The research was also aimed at proposing an engineering model for the Ni-Zn elements, inspired from an existing one relevant to lead-acid batteries, which permits toevaluate the available charge.


  • In-situ vitrification of contaminated soils by means of the Joule effect
    This research activity has been carried out within an Italian research project for the development of a prototype in-situ vitrification (ISV) plant. The project has been financed by the Italian MIUR, Ministry of University and Research within the framework of the National Research Program Nr. 15, and has involved A.R.E.A. (Azienda Ravennate Energia ed Ambiente, presently part of HERA), the CRA (Centro di Ricerche Ambientali Ravenna), the University of Bologna (Departments of Earth Science and Geology, of Electrical Engineering, of Chemical Engineering Mineralogy and Environmental Technology, of Physics), and the IST (Cancer Research Institute of Genoa). As already known, the ISV process is a thermal process based on the Joule effect aimed at the reclamation of polluted soils. It combines the high temperature (around 2000 °C) treatment of noxious waste with the possibility of immobilizing it into a glass matrix. This research activity carried out within this context was referring to the design and realization of the ISV power supply system and of its control system. Several experimental tests have been carried out by means of a full-scale setup to demonstrate the engineering feasibility and applicability of the ISV process.