Electric Power Engineering Centre (EPECentre)

New Zealand's Centre of Excellence for Power Engineering. University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand


Solar panels for Tonga project

Hear about Vladimir's experience with his final year project for Electrical Engineering at the University of Canterbury, installing solar panels on schools in Tonga.

Research Project

View the video on how the EPECentre investigated the use of electricity to sterilize logs for export. This was funded by STIMBR And Primary Growth Partnership (PGP). More information will be available soon.

See what is happening in our High Voltage Laboratory, see what possibilities this could open up for you

EPECentre News and Events

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EPECentre Careers Convention 2014

For Electrical, Civil and Mechanical students to find out more about the New Zealand Power Industry as a career and build industry relationships.
This event includes;
Talks and participation by Industry CEO's, Senior Managers and Graduate Engineers, panel Sessions where you can ask questions, and provides a networking opportunity.
The Careers Convention is being held in C3 from 5pm on 3 April 2014.
For more information and registration please click on the poster image or contact the EPECentre.

GREEN Grid Scholarships 2014

GREEN Grid PhD Scholarships; being offered: 2-3 depending on suitable applicants.  Masters projects will be considered, however PhDs are preferred. Read the Project Description and register your interest now by contacting Dr Allan Miller.

The project, officially titled “Renewable Energy and the Smart Grid” will contribute to a future New Zealand with greater renewable generation and improved energy security through new ways to integrate renewable generation into the electricity network.  The project aims to provide government and industry with methods for managing and balancing supply and demand variability and delivering a functional and safe distribution network in which intermittent renewable generation is a growing part of the energy supply.  New Zealand currently generates about 75 percent of its electricity from renewable generation, making it a world leader in this area.

EPECentre Newsletter Power Talk
EPECentre Power Talk Newsletter


Keeping you up-to-date with exciting new developments, highlighted in the December 2013 edition of the EPECentre Power Talk newsletter. Click on the EPECentre Power Talk image to read.

#The Blog - PV System Design

Wamiq HassanWamiq Hassan will document his steps in designing a 10kW system, for the GREEN Grid research project, going into as much details as possible in order for readers and renewable energy enthusiasts to get an understanding of exactly what is involved with such a project. Hopefully it will encourage people to set up their own PV generation system and work as an aid if they decide to do so.The blog will be a valuable source of information as the system will be designed under the guidance of experienced professional engineers specialising in renewable systems design and research. Follow the blog by clicking on the "Blog" icon above.

EPECentre Summer Scholars

Welcome to our 8 summer scholar students 2013 who are in the EPECentre working on specific projects over summer:

Power Quality Impacts of Renewable Distributed Generation – Jeremy Watson
Project: Hydro reservoir management analysis of generator behavior – Michael Campbell
Project: Distributed Generation (DG) for around the world with particular focus on Photovoltaic (PV) systems - Luke Schwartfeger
Project: A review of quantifying rooftop solar photovoltaic potential for regional renewable energy policy – Robbie Muir
Project: - What it takes to get PV installed -Wamiq Hassan

Project: Segmented Electrode Current Sensing and Resistance Matrix Determination – Max Doesburg

Project: Search Coil Current Location System – Josh Schipper

Project: Voltage Distribution Measurement – Thomas Smart


Post Grad EPECentre Scholar Yanosh Irani excited about modernising UC

Yanosh Irani

University of Canterbury postgraduate student Yanosh Irani says he is excited to learn that engineering at UC will have its facilities fully modernised to continue attracting the best staff.
Prime Minister John Key announced Government’s $260 million support to help UC rebuild quicker following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes."
"Current students will benefit from working more closely with industry as UC engineering develops its research and development capability."
"Prospective students will get a better view of what we do here. The proposed open teaching and research spaces will make it easier to show year 11 and 12 students that it’s worth sticking with science as a subject. We will be able to clearly display how fun and interesting engineering really is, even though it seems hard at school. "read more..

EPECentre Resources

The EPECentre is proud to launch its new Outreach for High School Science Resource communication site (ER). Click on image to login.Learn site

EPECentre Newsletter Power Talk
EPECentre Power Talk Newsletter

Keeping you up-to-date with exciting new developments, highlighted in the June 2013 edition of the EPECentre Power Talk newsletter. 

Media release 11 June 2013

UC researchers out to demystify smart grids

University of Canterbury researchers have produced a white paper on smart grids that reviews the challenges facing the transmission and distribution industries and how modern digital technology can be used in future. (read more)
The paper is available from here

Welcome to our new GREEN Grid Research Engineer

David Santos Martin GREEN Grid

David Santos-Martin will join the EPECentre this week, to work on the GREEN Grid project.  David and his family arrive from Madrid on Monday 8 April 2013. 
David comes from UC3 in Madrid, where he lectured in power electronics and renewable energy amongst other things.  Prior to that, David worked for EDF, Ebadrola (the main electricity utility in Spain), and Alstom, after which he undertook a PhD in the area of grid connection of photovoltaics.  During and following his PhD David was involved in a successful start up company that developed a product to interconnect large photovoltaic installations directly to the grid.

The EPECentre introduces Bill Heffernan

Bill HeffernanBill has rejoined the EPECentre, after a short International break, to lead the UC’s contribution to the Scion-led MBIE-STIMBR Research Project on protecting the export trade of forest products from NZ. This contribution centres on fumigant-free phytosanitary treatment of export logs, by employing Joule heating. This is a follow-on project from successful earlier research.
Other recent projects Bill has been involved in were the development of a wireless-networked, variable colour and brightness LED lighting system for replacement of fluorescent lamps in industrial, commercial and institutional buildings. Research for Arc Innovations, on New Zealand’s deployment of smart electricity meters, produced a white paper on their health and safety aspects. Research for Transpower and the EEA produced new information and models to determine the effect of the recent widespread deployment of residential heat-pumps on the electricity network.

News Media Release (14 February 2013)

Electric vehicles still some way off, EPECentre researchers Dr Allan Miller (pictured left) and Scott Lemon (pictured right) said:
EV researchDr Allan Miller said at the National Energy conference in Wellington today, a proliferation of electric vehicles for the New Zealand market is still some way off. His research into electric vehicles found they were too expensive for New Zealand at present, but the country would benefit substantially from the adoption of electric vehicles in terms of reduced greenhouse gas emissions and reduced air pollution.
The price of an electric vehicle is largely determined by the cost of the battery system. Until this cost is reduced by improved technology and increased manufacturing volumes, they will remain prohibitively expensive, the key tipping point at which the battery cost per kilowatt-hour drops below an affordable level is expected to occur around 2020. This will result in these vehicles reaching near price-parity with standard vehicles and consequently increasing market volume.’’ (click to read the full release).

UC research to make the national grid smarter

 The government last week (28 August 2012) announced a grant of $6.3 million for the important UC research project: “Renewable Energy and the Smart Grid” Dr Allan Miller, Director of the EPECentre, was sucessful in securing this funding. Read more from the UC article.
Learn more from the podcast which streamed live on 2 September,2 2012 with Veronika Meduna, compliments of Radio NZ, after an interview with Dr Allan Miller.

More media releases: Metering International have now published their Q3 2012 magazine, read the full downloaded article here Metering International (Sept 2012)

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Phone +64 3 364 3057 OR info@epecentre.ac.nz