Inverter responses during system faults

Impact of inverter based resources (IBRs) in modern power systems during system faults

Degree type

PhD

Closing date

1 September 2022

Campus

Hobart

Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International

Scholarship

$28,854pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

This project forms part of the new ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Energy Technologies for Future Grids, a commonwealth funded collaborative initiative between the University of Tasmania and five other major Australian universities, together with fifteen partner organisations from industry. The Training Centre will provide solutions for the problems associated with the transition from fossil-fuel-based and centralised power grids to the renewables-based and decentralised grids of the future. The successful applicant for this project will be provided with opportunities to work as part of the broader training centre team, will work on problems of immediate relevance to industry and will have direct links to and be supported by industry partners.

This research project will investigate the response and interaction of Inverter-Based Resources (IBRs - solar, wind, battery and EV charger inverters) under fault conditions in modern power systems.  In power systems with increasing penetration of renewables and IBRs, operation of the low voltage ride-through (LVRT) responses of IBRs in LV/MV networks involves a plant injecting reactive power via reactive power-voltage droop control, according to voltage measured at the inverter terminal. While this is designed to support power system voltage, it can cause overvoltage in all phases or in one or more phases in the case of unbalanced faults, particularly in systems operating under low system strength conditions. Under current approaches, after the LVRT response trigger is subsequently removed voltage can again drop and trigger a subsequent LVRT response. The reactive power contribution from IBRs should, in contrast, ideally be optimised based on the voltage level at the plant's point of connection, upstream network characteristics, and fault type and severity. This research will investigate network issues related to LVRT operation and develop mitigation strategies that will solve the hunting issue for the set-point of LVRT. An intelligent algorithm will be developed to tune the LVRT control loop so as to better support voltage under fault conditions in weak power grids and to avoid overvoltage and LVRT retriggering.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Associate Professor Evan Franklin

Funding

The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,854 per annum (2022 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.

Eligibility

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

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applications are open to both Domestic and International applicants
  • English language proficiency must be above minimum entry requirements for this project
  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

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 desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience working in industry, some knowledge of electric vehicle charging technologies and experience and skills with electric network system modelling are desirable

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Associate Professor Evan Franklin to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. 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 2 x 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 by the advertised outcome date.

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