Power Hardware in Loop Test System

Development of Power Hardware in the Loop Test System for an Electric Ferry

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

This project aims to develop a power hardware in the loop (PHIL) test system for the electrical power system of a battery/fuel cell powered ferry. Fuel cell is the main source of power, and the battery is used to supply/absorb rapid changes in the propulsion load.

The OPAL-RT real-time simulator platform, together with Imperix four-quadrant amplifier will be used to develop the PHIL test system. The research in this project intends to design individual ship power system components by modelling and testing them in the real-time simulation platform. Individual units will then be utilised to develop the electric ferry power system. Novel power management and control technologies will be developed and tested in parallel to the hardware integration. The outcome of the project is a PHIL test system model of a battery/fuel cell powered electric ferry. The project intends to build a physical test-rig to establish a capacity for validating the PHIL test system models, and further experimental test required for diverse hybrid power systems evolving in maritime industry.

The objectives of this project are to:

  1. Develop simulation models for the experimental power system’s individual components in non-real-time (MATLAB-Simulink & Simscape) and real-time simulation platform OPAL-RT.
  2. Model validation of individual components through PHIL tests.
  3. Integrate individual components to design a PHIL test system of an electric ferry ensuring the performance and stability of system.
  4. Develop power management and control technologies for the integrated system and validation through PHIL tests.

Establish an experimental rig for model validation and further research.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Hossein Enshaei


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Understanding of electrical principals and operation of variable speed drives.
  • Experienced in working with engineering software, such as MATLAB

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Basic understanding of ship power systems

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Hossein Enshaei, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including contact details of two referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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