Wei, Damle Receive IEEE DEIS Graduate Student Fellowships

Atlanta, GA

Jia Wei and Tushar Damle have been named as recipients of the 2019 IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society (DEIS) Graduate Student Fellowships. They are both Ph.D. students in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).

As the highest award established for graduate students in the field of electrical insulation, the IEEE DEIS selected five winners of this award from around the world, including Wei and Damle. They are both advised by ECE Assistant Professor Lukas Graber, who leads the Plasma and Dielectrics Laboratory.  

Wei’s project proposal is entitled “Investigation of dielectric properties of pure supercritical fluids and mixtures.” His research is focused on investigating the dielectric property of supercritical fluids. Supercritical fluids combine the advantages of both gas and liquid, including an exceptionally high dielectric strength, low viscosity, and outstanding heat transfer capabilities. 

As traditional dielectric media all have substantial drawbacks, supercritical fluids have the potential to be the solution since they offer low viscosity and are compressible. Their density can be adjusted, and they provide excellent dielectric and heat transfer characteristics. The properties of traditional dielectric media have been a major limiting factor impacting the design and operation of many applications spanning from particle accelerators over x-ray radiography and radiotherapy to electrical power systems. Future findings in this project could serve as a key to unlock the design of numerous applications that require high power density.

Damle’s project proposal is entitled “Investigation of the effect of surface charge density on insulator flashover characteristics in shipboard power systems.” He aims to further understand the effect of surface charges on the performance and life expectancy of insulators in all-electric ships. Future all-electric Navy ships will use a medium voltage DC (MVDC) system to distribute electricity to its high power loads such as propulsion, radar, communication, and air conditioning. 

It is important to study the behavior surface charges on insulators in MVDC systems. This will determine the shape, size, and dimensions of insulators and therefore impact the power density and performance of the ship. The stresses on shipboard insulators resulting from the unique features of future all-electric Navy ships such as DC power, power electronics induced harmonics, ungrounded rails, and bidirectional power flow are not fully understood. This research paves the way for developing standards for clearance and creepage distance, and it will improve the reliability and power density of shipboard power systems.

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Last revised January 22, 2020