Mitigation of power system fault events

Controlled islanding to limit cascading fault events in power systems with high renewable energy penetration

Degree type

PhD

Closing date

1 February 2023

Campus

Hobart

Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International

Scholarship

$34,938pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

This project is part of the new ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Energy Technologies for Future Grids (ARC Future Grids ITTC). The ARC Future Grids ITTC is a 5 year, $8.5M investment program, including $5M from the Australian Research Council (ARC), designed to support the transition of Australia’s power and energy industry to a more sustainable, competitive and resilient position based on the development of human intellectual capital through training a new generation of innovators while simultaneously fostering an R&D culture within the electricity sector to leverage new skills for advancing Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.

Led by the University of Wollongong, the ARC Future Grids ITTC brings together 6 Universities (The University of New South Wales, The University of Queensland, University of Tasmania, Deakin University, and Curtin University) and 14 industry partners (CSIRO, Hydro Tasmania, TasNetworks, Powerlink, ZECO Energy, GHD, ACEN Australia, TPS Energy, Shoalhaven Water, Ingeteam Australia, Abel Energy, 123V, Essential Energy, and The Australian Power Institute) across five Australian states to deliver the next generation of industry leaders and specialists in future grid technologies to ensure Australia can smoothly manage the transition required in decarbonising its electricity sector. More information about the ITTC is at https://www.uow.edu.au/engineering-information-sciences/research/arc-training-centre-in-energy-technologies-for-future-grids/. The ARC Future Grids Training Centre is hosting a major event – 2023 IEEE International Conference in Energy Technologies for Future Grids (IEEE ETFG 2023) to be held at Wollongong, Australia on 3 – 6 December 2023 (https://attend.ieee.org/etfg-2023/).

As high grid penetration of renewable energy (RE) sources reduces system inertia, leading to potential instability, this research project will explore how to handle the generator coherency appropriately during the fault events. Intentional Controlled Islanding (ICI) involves splitting a power system into several self-healing islands as the last protective solution to avoid blackout after a large disturbance. ICI can help limit cascading fault events and avoid wide-area blackouts. Identification of coherent generators (CGs) is necessary for the area-based monitoring and protection system of a wide-area power system and will be investigated in this project. Synchrophasors have enabled smarter monitoring and control measures to be devised; hence, measurement-based methodologies can be implemented in online applications to identify the CGs. As a next step, sophisticated controlled islanding can be designed, which can help to limit cascaded outage. Finding the separation boundaries and stabilising the created islands are two aspects of the ICI problem that will be investigated.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Professor Michael Negnevitsky

Funding

The successful applicant will receive a scholarship which provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $34,938 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:

  • 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.

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, Professor Michael Negnevitsky 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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