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Electrical Power Engineering FYP Topics

Electricity Generation and Supply:

Control of an HVDC link during major disturbances.
A major disturbance in a power system such as a short circuit linked to an offshore wind farm by an HVDC link could result in the transfer through the link exceeding the capacity of the link. This project will prepare a computer model of an HVDC link controlled by PWM including facilities for control of the transient overload.

Integration of solar and wind technologies in rural distribution.
The distribution system in rural areas has been developed to supply customer load such as households, farms, commercial premises and small-scale manufacturing. Currently rooftop solar is being developed on a substantial scale supplying some of this load. Recently mini wind farms have been developed connected to distribution feeders and there is significant scope for further such wind energy installations. This project will examine the issues involved in integrating such wind farm developments with the loads and solar installations. It will be done in collaboration with Powercor as the industry partner.

Laboratory model of a converter-coupled wind turbine.
Several manufacturers are supplying wind turbines based on connecting the wind turbine generators to the grid by a PWM AC-DC-AC converter. This project will develop a practical laboratory-scale model of this technology and investigate control strategies to achieve the steady state stability and dynamic stability performance specified in the National Electricity Rules (NER).

Comparison of DFIG and converter-coupled wind turbine technologies.
The turbine technologies being installed for wind farms are primarily Doubly Fed Induction Generators (DFIG) and Converter Coupled Turbines. These technologies are based on power electronic equipment with digital controllers. This project will compare the performance of these technologies for small signal stability (e.g. load & wind fluctuations) and large signal stability (system short circuits). The project will also consider the operation of a power system with these different technologies. The performance of the turbine technologies will be investigated using general purpose simulation software tools and system modelling software.

Synchronous machine control -
Synchronous machine sets in the EPE laboratory require automatic voltage regulators (AVRs) and frequency controllers (governors) to explore and demonstrate their performance in an interconnected power system. A prototype AVR has been developed but it requires refinements. A governor system has to be designed and constructed from the existing equipment, i.e. variable speed motor drive controlled from a PLC or from a computer. An outcome expected is in the form of the machine set operating under full automatic excitation and frequency control when synchronised with the grid.

Semi-detached off-grid community
A large property developer wants to build a 100-1000 home housing estate. They have a site in mind but the local electricity utility is unable to provide all the power the site would need. The project involved designing a semi-detached (off-grid community) can get limited power from the grid, say 30%, and the remaining 70% has to be delivered as self-generated electricity. The economic feasibility of a reliable power supply to the housing estate must be considered as well as technical aspects.

Integration of Wind Energy and Solar Technologies with Power Systems
The performance of planned wind turbine generation and solar generation with power systems is conducted in 2 stages i.e.
a) stand alone detailed modelling including all control facilities of the planned new generation,
b) a simplified model for inclusion of the planned new generation with the whole system to investigate the compatibility of the new generation with the existing conventional generation and other wind and solar plant.
The project will investigate the validity of the translation from the detailed models to the simplified models using industry software used for the 2 aspects of modelling.

Voltage Management in LV Distribution Feeders with Embedded Solar PV
The integration of residential photovoltaic (PV) systems into power distribution networks faces practical limitations owing to the need to ensure customer voltage remains within acceptable steady-state limits at all points on the feeder. Existing Australian standards for small-scale PV inverters do not allow for participation of these embedded generators in network voltage control, as is the norm for larger generators. However, emerging standards in Europe (eg. EN 50438) and North America (eg. PG&E Electric Rule 21) provide for PV inverters and other small generators to supply or absorb reactive power according to prescribed characteristics to help manage network voltages. This capability should allow a higher intensity of embedded PV connections than would be feasible otherwise; however, a significant technical challenge is posed due to the large number of individual control points on a single feeder and the potential for contention between control systems in close proximity.

This project aims to investigate these issues, and to demonstrate and compare the effectiveness of various control strategies proposed in emerging standards, by simulating the performance of hypothetical controlled PV systems connected in large numbers in realistic 400/230V LV feeders. For this purpose load flow models of the LV feeders, PV generators and residential loads will be built and simulated in appropriate software such as PSS/E and/or Matlab/Simulink. A key outcome of this project will be to determine the improvement in PV generation intensity achievable in a typical feeder through the use of appropriate voltage controls. A secondary objective if time permits will be to investigate whether such controls can also be used to improve the balancing of phases in feeders dominated by single-phase installations.

Two-Terminal and Multi-Terminal HVDC Links for Renewable Energy Integration
The use of HVDC lines to connect new large-scale renewable energy generators has been proposed in cases where existing AC networks lack the capacity to incorporate new generation in a stable manner. In Europe, this concept has been extended to consider multi-terminal 'HVDC grids' for the connection of offshore or remote generators to multiple distributed infeed points. Multi-terminal HVDC requires careful attention to power flow control given the fact that power in DC circuits always flows from points of higher to lower voltage.

This project involves building a simulation model of a simplified transmission network in Simulink or PSCAD software, which will include a number of synchronous generating plants but will include relatively high line impedances and hence lack capacity to incorporate new generation sources without substantial augmentation. It is then envisaged to connect one or more new generation sources either through a single (two-terminal) HVDC link, or through an HVDC network with two or more interfaces to the existing AC system. The performance of the augmented system will then be compared with the 'base' network without additional generation or HVDC, focussing on performance measures such as power flow limits, transient stability (critical clearing times) and voltage sensitivity to power flows.

Other projects:

Heat flow modelling in a blood test cell.
This project will be conducted in collaboration with Universal Biosensors. UBI is a medical diagnostics company focused on the research, development and manufacture of diagnostic test systems for point-of-care (POC) professional and home use. UBI has partnered with global healthcare company Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics to develop the Xprecia StrideTM blood coagulation analyser, launched in December 2014, to help patients taking the anticoagulant drug Warfarin manage their medication.

The Xprecia Stride analyser uses a heater to hold a blood sample at 37 degrees for several minutes. The heater is a mass produced part. Variation in heater performance has been observer and UBI seeks to better understand the consequences of dimensional tolerance variation on the heater performance. To this end the project will be to load the heater CAD files in to COMSOL and model heat flow in the part. Dimensional variation can be introduced to observe consequent changes in behaviour. A simulated PID control loop can be implemented to control the heater temperature. Variation in part dimension can be introduced to observe consequences on the control loop performance.

Dynamic Model of Flooded-Lead-Acid Battery
The aim of this project is to take from literature a relevant Dynamic-Flooded-Lead-Acid battery models and develop it in the MATLAB Simulink/Simscape environment. Then attempt to account for cyclic capacity fade and charge efficiency as the prominent aging characteristics of the model. This modeling technique will be then integrated into the DSTGs naval platform simulations. The model is aimed to be developed through adaption of current models in literature with parameters and cycling data extracted from experimentation of an analogous cell. The experimental procedure will outline the methods proposed to extract the battery parameters relevant to the chosen Ceraolo Third-Order model, loss of capacity data and charge efficiency data

Availability model of very large Li-ion batteries
This project will be conducted in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Group. The use of a universal generating function (UGF) is envisaged to calculate availability of very large Li-ion batteries for critical systems based on cell availability probability density function data.

Topic revision: r1 - 2015-10-26 - JonLi
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