The group's research focuses on improving the efficiency of power supplies and finding solutions to power quality issues.
Power Electronics Group
The Power Electronics Group at the University of Waikato is led by Nihal Kularatna who came to the University of Waikato in 2006. The group's research focuses on improving the efficiency of power supplies and finding solutions to power quality issues.
The group's work has three main areas of focus:
- Supercapacitor assisted low drop out (SCALDO) techniques - A technique to improve the end to end efficiency of linear DC-DC converters, particularly the high current version suitable for voltage regulator module type applications.
- Supercapacitor assisted surge absorption (SCASA) techniques - This work is based on a new technique suitable for surge absorption, making use of the continuous energy absorption capability of super capacitors.
- Surge resistant un-interruptible power supply systems (SRUPS) based on supercapacitor energy storage - This technique is aimed at better UPS systems with surge absorption capability. The group are developing initial prototypes to prove the concept of SCs buffering the surges and the technique is applicable to off-the line UPS systems.
Nihal Kularatna | Senior Lecturer - Engineering
Nihal's research is focussed on improving the efficiency of power supplies and finding solutions to power quality issues. He has been with the University of Waikato for 5 years after a brief stint at Auckland University and prior to that, 16 years at the Arthur C. Clarke Institute in Sri Lanka where he reached the position of CEO. He has also worked for 6 years as an electronics engineer responsible for navigational aids and 3 years working with digital telephone exchange systems. He is driven by developing creative usable topologies and keeping the half-life of knowledge in power electronics as low as possible.
WaikatoLink have helped Nihal secure his recently granted US patent for his invention of a novel voltage regulator topology that creates a step-change in efficiency for linear regulators. He has several other projects in progress with commercial potential including a novel low cost and high performance technique to produce linear impedance for AC power regulation and a low cost and efficient surge resistant UPS technology.
- Mr Nihal Kularatna
- Senior Lecturer - Engineering