The APL is a product of the world-leading research and development from UCL’s Electrochemical Innovation Lab (EIL), the Electric Propulsion Group (EPG) and Department of Mechanical Engineering. Based at UCL East, the APL will be a global centre of excellence dedicated to the decarbonisation of the transport sector, specialising in battery and fuel cell, power electronics, and electric vehicles. With over 90 researchers, APL will be a national centre for advanced research in the fields of electrochemical energy storage, power electronics and electrical machines (PEMD) at UCL East.
The aim of the APL is to expand upon the existing research currently taking place at the Bloomsbury campus and scale this work up to higher technology readiness levels, working closely with industry to tackle global challenges such as the future of mobility.
Through the APL, we will translate lab activities into real-world impact through research, development and industrialisation of vehicle electrification, supporting global reductions in the environmental impacts of transport.
Our work will include materials discovery, fuel cells, batteries, power electronics, drivetrain and powertrains of a wide range of electric vehicles, and more. Features will include a vehicle propulsion research laboratory specialising in advanced powertrains, electrochemical power sources and storage and an environmental laboratory, a live testing ground for automotive, marine, drone, mobility and (dis)ability technologies.
Key strengths and unique capabilities
- Power semiconductor device performance, characterisation, and modelling
- GaN and SiC wide bandgap device development
- Device modelling and characterisation
- EMC modelling and testing
- E-machine and drive design for propulsion systems
- Design for manufacture and assembly – part of Coventry University’s Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME)
- Metrology (AME)
- Laser joining (AME)
- Digital manufacturing (AME)
- E-machine test and development (C-ALPS)
- Quasi-static e-motor characterisation bench test
- 5 system test benches ranging from 250 – >475kW
- Circa 450kW DC power with higher capacity
- Bulk hydrogen supply into all 5 cells for powertrain testing
- Metrology – measurement systems and control of uncertainty in manufacturing processes
- Design for manufacture and assembly
- Laser joining
- Digital manufacturing
Managed in conjunction with FEV UK, C-ALPS houses 5 state-of-the-art powertrain test cells for high-power testing, incorporating > 300kW of DC power, hydrogen and fuel supplies for complete system testing.
- Flexible modular test system for e-drive research and development
- High power dynos > 450kW
- High speed testing > 25krpm
- Quasi-static e-machine characterisation
- Power and efficiency measurement
- Control hardware and software development
- Thermal characterisation
The EMC chamber at C-ALPS provides an environment where partners can work with the centre’s expertise and state-of-the-art equipment to de-risk products and technologies, diagnosing early issues with power hardware.
- EMI test receiver (9kHz-3.6GHz): for certification measurement, compliant to CISPR
- 3m x 3m EMI chamber with conducted and radiated emission up to 10GHz for pre-compliance measurement and research
- DUT DC/AC operation, DC power range up to 1kV / 200A
- Compliant to CISPR25 conducted and radiated emission
The centre’s expertise in power semiconductors and semiconductor device performance supports their industrial partners with the development of high-efficiency and high power-density power converter systems; accelerating the adoption of wide band-gap devices and optimising performance through digital modelling and control techniques.
- Keysight B1505A Curve Tracer for power device characterisation up to 1500A/10kV
- N1265A UHC Expander/Fixture ±500A/60V (7.5kW peak power)
- N1268A UHV Expander ±10kV (20mA pulsed)
- Inseto Magnetic Stimulation Wafer Probing Station producing a magnetic field up to 400mT flux density
With expertise and state-of-the-art facilities in metrology and laser joining, the AME research centre is well placed to support partners with related PEMD manufacturing projects. Open access equipment includes:
- ABB Robot Welding Cell
- Zeiss CMM
- Hexagon Romar Arm
- Lecia Laser Tracker
- Photogrammetry kits
- MetraSCAN 3D
- Mitutoyo SV-C3100 surface finish and contour measurement
- Alicona G5 instrument