Materials for Energy Technology

Master's Degree Programme, 2 years, Trondheim

Materials for Energy Technology

– Specialisation Materials Science and Engineering (MSMT)

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MSMT Materials for energy technology

Specialisation Materials Science and Engineering (MSMT)

Energy technology - materials technology and nanotechnology

Have you ever thought about the fact that increased use of hydrogen as an energy carrier requires a quantum leap in the development of so-called functional materials? 

These are smart materials found in solar cells, superconductors, computers, batteries, fuel cells and catalysts, and which have a physical property that can be utilised. Environmentally, hydrogen is an attractive energy carrier. As a result, eleven of the largest automakers in the world have developed fuel cell-based cars based on hydrogen.

With a basis in nanotechnology, you can develop cheaper and more robust materials for use in, among other things, fuel cells, solar cells, CO2 purification and salt power - thus helping to make this technology more competitive in the future.

MSMT - master thesis - materials for energy technology

Master thesis - Håvard Bærug

In my master's thesis I measure the electrical conductivity of insulating materials used in power electronics.

To build flexible power grids that can handle irregular electricity production from wind power and other loads, you need to rely on advanced power electronics. Therefore, new units have been developed which operate at higher voltages and faster ascent times. This provides better performance and efficiency but results in higher loads for the insulation materials used. The properties of these materials under the new working conditions must therefore be investigated in order to predict the lifetime of the components.

I have therefore, in collaboration with SINTEF Energi, put together an experimental setup to measure very small currents through liquid insulating materials at high voltages. In addition, I do numerical modeling of the system in COMSOL, and by comparing the experimental and numerical results I can estimate the conductivity of the materials. The goal is to calculate the conductivity of both cyclohexane, n-pentane and silicone oil during the master, and the results will be used in further work to calculate the life of power electronics components.