Power system design

When electrical power is needed but the utility supply is unreliable or not available, an alternative power source is required. On the face of it, this may seem a simple issue to deal with, but this is not necessarily always the case. Skill & expertise is required to configure the optimal suite of technologies to balance cost & performance goals, which usually work in opposition. When off-grid power availability is severely limited, selection of the right combination of power sources, power storage and power management is critical. A few projects that I have worked on are listed below by way of example:

  • Solar powered, rechargeable pay-as-you-go power supply unit for lighting & phone charging
  • DC powered network card utilising high voltage signalling for oilfield data harvesting
  • Fully featured large cell lithium ion battery management systems, including MS Windows & Android apps for status monitoring
  • Buried power supply for covert surveillance system
  • Backup power systems for military electronic counter-measures vehicles
  • Auxiliary DC power system for military vehicle
  • Mixed AC & DC power systems to power equipment on-board emergency services vehicles


And a few numbers to set the context; power levels up to 10kW, DC at 12 & 24 volts and up to around 500amps. These, and many similar projects have needed special items of hardware or software. I have specified & designed a number of such items, such as for example, very high efficiency and high power unidirectional & bidirectional DCDC converters, controlled DC & AC power switches, advanced battery chargers and battery monitors, DC to AC inverters to name a few