ECE NTUA at Elec.Tec Forum 2018

After having celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding at the end of 2017, the School of ECE NTUA participated with success in the 2nd international exhibition “Elec.Tec Forum 2018" that took place at the MEC exhibition center in Paiania from the 23rd to the 26th of February 2018. The 2nd Elec.Tec is an international exhibition on automation systems, telecommunications, software, power generation, lighting, electrical materials and equipment.

The Dean of the School, Professor Nectarios Koziris, and other Professors of ECE along with members of the academic community presented the latest research activities and achievements of the School on February the 23rd, during the section “Greece innovates”. During his presentation, Prof. Koziris pointed out that the School continues its mission to serve outstanding educational curriculum and because of its excellent academic research record in the field of electrical & electronic engineering and in the field of computer science holds a leading position world-wide. Most of the ECE School applied research is hosted by the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS), an associated research institute of ECE NTUA.

Prof. Antonios Kladas presented the research activities of the Laboratory of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics of the School concerning hybrid/electric drive applications covering electric vehicles, more electric ship and all electric aircraft initiatives. He illustrated the innovative aspects introduced including high temperature and high speed permanent magnet machines, implementing advanced Neodymium permanent magnets, Cobalt Iron laminations and particular resin insulation as well as innovative converters based on multi level topologies and Silicon Carbide semiconductors concerning equally wireless charging and battery management systems for Lithium ion batteries.

Prof. Evangelos Hristoforou presented the Steel Health Monitoring (STEHEMON), a new method and technology for surface and bulk stress distribution monitoring and rehabilitation in steel production, which opens a new era in diagnostics & therapeutics in steel industry. The quality of the steel and corresponding products depends on the distribution and level of stresses in its volume and surface, since stress gradient is responsible for steel cracking generation & failure. The solution developed by the Laboratory of Electronic Sensors of the School is related to a new method and technology, currently pending for patent, offering stress tensor distribution monitoring on the surface and the bulk of steels, steel welds and products based on them. Such a technology can be the feedback system for automated stress rehabilitation (annihilation or strengthening) process in steel production and manufacturing, as well as in installed steel structures (end-user applications).

Associate Prof. Dimitrios Soudris presented “Developments in the Technology of Photovoltaic Systems-Reconfiguration and Prediction”. The reliability and future operation of the PV modules can be compromised by potential creation of hot spots, especially in locations where non-uniform conditions and partial shading are frequent. Conventional modules do not allow all cells to operate on their Maximum Power Point (MPP) when partial shading conditions are present. The design of custom topologies, based on the specific run-time operating conditions of the module, thus allowing the majority of the cells to operate at their MPP, showed promising results in terms of recovered power. This led to the investigation of module topologies by Microprocessors and Digital Systems Laboratory, which would enable multiple run-time configurations depending on the current operating conditions of the PV module (partial shading, irradiation, ambient temperature, wind velocity). Two main templates are examined; a row/column template and a snake-like template. In order to evaluate the performance of different module configurations, a detailed and accurate simulation environment is developed.

Optimizing the energy use in cities and its buildings, towards a low carbon economy, is another important research activity of the School. Assistant Prof. Haris Doukas introduced a “user-centered approach” framework, developed by the Decision Support Systems Laboratory of the School, in order to bridge the gap between ICT-for-companies and occupants, making use of data captured from smart meters, sensors and appliances, as well as energy end-users’ feedback. Innovative user-friendly applications were also presented, to convert data from smart meters into value for the buildings’ occupants, through actionable personalised information, recommendations and incentives for behavioural energy efficiency. The key issue addressed in his presentation concerned the engagement of end-users in the context of a Smart Energy City (SEC) and the role that advanced Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) could play in improving quality of life for its citizens.

Dr Panagiotis Rovolis introduced "Prometheus" non-profit research team consists of undergraduates and PhD candidates of the School. Its members design and construct high efficient electric vehicles in order to participate to the Shell Eco-Marathon competition. The Shell Eco-Marathon competition is an annual competition, in which students and their designs compete to see which vehicle can go the farthest on the least amount of fuel. Dr Rovolis pointed out that with raw materials and much passion "Prometheus" members change the way we move. With a hand-made, eco-friendly, prototype, electric vehicle constructed from scratch, an 1.000 km trip will now cost less than 20 cents of a euro.

Assistant Prof. Ioannis Gonos underlined the contribution of the High Voltage Laboratory of the School to the development of innovative technologies and products. Also, he highlighted the relevant activities of the Laboratory regarding measurements and tests for the development of these novel products (some indicative product categories are information technology equipment, domestic equipment, lighting equipment, industrial, scientific and medical radiofrequency equipment (ISM), naval navigation and telecommunication equipment, lifts, radioequipment etc.) and of green technologies (wind parks, PV solar parks, traditional substations and hybrid substations combining renewable energy sources).

Dr Christos Nikolopoulos presented the research activities of the Wireless & Long Distance Communication Lab (WLDCL) of the School in the field of space engineering. In a recent study for Space Mission THOR, the WLDCL team conducted, amongst other objectives, the development of simulation and modeling (software) tools and the creation of models to predict LF EMI and magnetic field emissions, as measured at equipment level from measured emissions at component level. Previous studies include the implementation of methods to use multiple magnetometers (snap-shot) for measurements of the magnetic field from an Equipment Under Test in order to realize the innovative facility of Magnetic Dipole Modelling (MMF) for spacecraft magnetic cleanliness. Such multiple dipole models will be later used to extrapolate the magnetic field at larger distances, i.e. at the location outside the spacecraft where the sensitive measuring equipment (magnetometers) is placed. Dr Nikolopoulos pointed out that the WLDCL has a long collaboration in a lot of space oriented projects with European Space Agency and with local (EMTECH SPACE P.C) as well as foreign (THALES ALENIA ITALY P.C.) companies.

Dr Panos Kotsampopoulos presented the research activities of the Smart Grids Research Unit (Smart RUE) of the Electric Energy Systems Laboratory of the School. He pointed out that modern power systems are characterized by the integration of distributed-renewable generation posing new challenges but at the same time opening new possibilities. The increasing complexity of the power system requires the transition into a Smart Grid. He presented the research activities of the group in several EU research projects focusing on microgrids, energy management systems, wind and solar power forecasts, grid integration of electric vehicles and ICT solutions for smart grids. Moreover, he presented the advanced laboratory infrastructure of the group as well as the services offered.

Finally, in her talk, Dr. Katerina Doka stressed out the significance of Big Data analytics as a means of extracting valuable knowledge out of the enormous amounts of data available. This knowledge reinforces the decision making processes in a number of different fields, ranging from finance to healthcare and from manufacturing to retail. The Computing Systems Laboratory (CSLab) of the School is actively researching ways to exploit the heterogeneity in data, software platforms and hardware in order to render Big Data analytics workflows faster and more cost- and energy-efficient. IReS, a platform developed by CSLab, is an open-source scheduler that integrates multiple execution engines and datastores into the optimizing, planning and execution of complex analytics workflows. Based on performance and cost models of the analytics tasks at hand, IReS decides on where each task should execute and under what amount of resources provisioned. Moreover, CSLab is currently developing methods to allow Big Data analytics tasks to automatically take advantage of heterogeneous hardware (CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs), significantly increasing their performance with much less resources.