Power and Energy Systems research has long been a strength of the School of ITEE.  The strong research output has continued in recent years.  The productiveness of the group's research activities can be attributed to the close links and generous support provided by the group's industrial and academic research partners.  The group has obtained significant financial support from both the Australian Research Council and national and international research partners.

Key Research Projects

Evaluation of the Impact of Demand Response Program on Transmission Network Planning

The main objective of this project is to provide a critique and evaluation of major international and national demand response programs and technologies based on a review of available technologies and analysing them in light of the characteristics of the electricity demand in New South Wales.

In this research, potentials of demand response programs will be explored and the technical requirements for successful application of demand response in deferring capital investment in the transmission network will be suggested.

The project focuses on technical issues of implementing demand response program with consideration of relevant regulatory and economical aspects.

Funding:  TransGrid
Project Partners:  TransGrid
Chief Investigators:  Dr Mehdi Eghbal, Professor Tapan Saha, Dr Mithulananthan Nadarajah
Project completed.



Development of Smart Power Transformers with Intelligent Monitoring, Diagnostic and Life Management Systems

Failure of a large transformer can cause a blackout to thousands of customers and this project aims to develop a smart diagnostic system for transformers.  the developed system will provide a comprehensive tool for providing accurate decision on operation and maintenance of transformers to safeguard the critical energy infrastructure of Australia.

Funding:  ARC Linkage Project
Project Partners:  Energex, Ergon Energy, Powerlink Australia, TransGrid
Chief Investigator:  Professor Tapan Saha
Other Investigators:  Dr Hui Ma, Dr Chandima Ekanayake, Dr dan martin
PHD Students:  Jefferey Chan, Yi Qui



Investigation of Stability and Power Quality Issues from the Wide Spread Photovoltaic Integration into Electricity Distribution Networks

Large scale photovoltaic penetration has been gaining momentum in many countries, including Australia, due to the concerns on climate change and energy independence.  This project addressed two key technical barriers associated with photovoltaic integration into the grid and will provide a practical solution for improved power supply stability and quality.

Funding:  ARC Linkage Project
Project Partners:  Ingenero Pty Ltd
Chief Investigators:  Professor Tapan Saha, Dr Mithulananthan Nadarajah, Dr Ramesh Bansal
PHD Students:  Annapurna Chidurala, Jalil Yaghooby



An Investigation of the Impacts of Increased Power Supply to the National Grid by Wind Generators on the Australian Electricity Industry

The aim of this project is to discover the most economical and effective way to accommodate large increases in wind power into the national grid and to understand the effects on the national electricity market.  This is crucial to ensure stability of electricty supply and affordable prices in the transition towards a low carbon economy.

Funding:  ARC Linkage Project
Project Partners: AGL Energy Ltd, Clean Energy Council Limited, Suzion Energy Australia Pty Ltd, TRUenergy Pty Ltd, Vestas International Wind Technology A/S
Chief Investigators:  Professor John Foster, Associate Professor Hamish A McGowan, Professor Zhao Y Dong, Professor Tapan Saha
Post doctoral fellow: De Ruifeng yan

PHD Student:  Mehdi Mosadeghy



Queensland Geothermal Energy Centre of Excellence

Throughout the world, developed and developing nations are seeking sustainable energy solutions to the growing and complex needs of industry, government and communities of all types.  The ultimate energy source would be emission-free, abundant, price-competitive, long-term and be able to deliver reliable base-load power.

Together, the Centre team and its collaborators will have expertise to meet the key challenges posed by the Centre's ambitious vision.  These are:

  • Optimum energy extraction and sustainable resource management
  • Efficient power conversion.  The Centre will explore radically new options based on synergies with other generation technologies, especially solar-thermal and natural gas augmentation.  It will also review possibilities which have been proposed in earlier research.
  • A cooling system for desert zone in the world's driest inhabited continent.  This will demand extreme efficiency at condensing the working fluid.  As advances in colling have benefits for conventional power plants, innovative platforms for coolling systems will be a significant focus of the Centre.
  • To resolve transmission issues inherent to a power plant which is located more than 500km from major load centres and the national grid.
  • http://www.uq.edu.au/geothermal/index.html

Funding:  Queensland Government
Chief Investigator:  Professor Tapan Saha
Research Staff:  Dr Mehdi Eghbal
PHD Students:  Mr Kazi Nazmul Hasan, Miss Mai Nguyen (PhD thesis submitted and currently under examination)



Optimum Location of FACTS Devices with Advanced Control Scheme for Improving the Security of Complex Power Grid

Prevention of blackouts is one of the highest priorities of the electricity industry.  One of the fundamental reasons for the recent blackouts in long transmission networks is inter-area oscillations.  Queensland's long transmission network is a vital part of the Australian electricity grid and is vunerable to inter-area oscillations.  There is a need for a comprehensive approach to investigate the effect of inter-area oscillation that contributes to blackouts.  Focussing the Queensland network, this project will provide a complete assessment tool for the optimum location of FACTS devices with modern and advanced control schemes in improving the security of complex interconnected power-grid.

Funding:  ARC Linkage Project
Project Partners:  Powerlink Queensland
Chief Investigators:  Professor Tapan Saha, Associate Professor Z Y Dong
PHD Students:  Mr Robert Chang (Thesis to be submitted in couple of weeks), Mr Nilesh Modi (PhD awarded)

Project is now completed.

Control Methodologies of Distributed Generation for Enhanced Network Stability and Control

The project proposed here addressed the key issues, related to the integration of distributed generations, centrally controlled, in the National Electricity Market.  It is expected that increasing amounts of new technologies in the form of distributed generations (DG) will be introduced in electrical power systems in the coming years.  The emphasis on power generation from renewable sources leads to the development of technologies, such as solar panel, wind turbines and wave energy power plants.  DG units can be connected closer to customers and hence transmission and distribution costs can be significantly reduced.  The latest technology has made plants available (in particular wind farms), that have high efficiency and ranging in capacity from 10kw to 15mw.  The liberalisation of the electricity market contributes to creating opportunities for new utilities in the power generation sector.

As long as the penetration level of these new technologies in power systems is still low and they only cover a small fraction of the system load, they have little impact on the dynamic behaviour of a power system.  Therefore, in power system long-term dynamics and transient stability studies, they are normally considered as negative load and their intrinsic dynamics are not taken into account.  However, if the amount of new generation technology introduced in a power system becomes substaintial, it will significantly influence the overall behaviour of the system.  Penetration level (MV and voltage), location and proper model of the distributed generation will be important factors in the analysis of dynamic behaviour of power systems.  The goal of the research is to investigate the impacts of DG on power system transient, small signal and long term stability.

Funding:  CSIRO, Intelligent Grid-Energy Transformed Flagship
Project Partners:  CSIRO, The University of Queensland
Chief Investigators:  Professor Tapan Saha, Dr Mithulananthan Nadarajah
Research Staff:  Dr Jahangir Hossain, Dr Uday Mhaskar
RHD Students:  Mr Tareq Aziz (PhD awarded), Mr Sudarshan Dahal(PhD awarded)

Project is now completed.
 
 

Investigation of Key Factors Affecting the Polarisation Based Diagnostics of Power Transformers
Electricity utilities are currently facing a major problem with an ageing population of power transformers.  A number of recently developed polarisation based diagnostics produce sensitive indications of ageing and moisture in transformers.  However, there is no suitable interpretation procedure available to separate the impacts of moisture and ageing by-products on these diagnostics.  A number of innovative laboratory and field experiments will be performed to understand the mechanism of ageing and the end of life characteristics.  The outcome will assist engineers and managers in making correct decisions on the maintenance and replacement strategies of aged transformers to avoid major power interruptions.
 
Funding:  Australian Research Council Linkage Grant
Project Partners:  The University of Queensland, Powerlink, Connell Wagner, Energy Australia
Chief Investigator:  Professor Tapan Saha
Research Staff:  Dr Chandima Ekanayake, Dr Hui Ma
PHD Student:  Mr Raj Jadav (PhD thesis to be submitted within few weeks)
Project is now completed,

Innovation in Power System Asset Management
This project entails developing distributed, internet connected equipment, services and a business model to help the power industry deliver electrical power more reliably.  This project will develop a commercial system for transformer and other critical asset condition monitoring and reporting.  This project will complete the research and development of equipment and techniques that will underpin a commercial service to the global power industry.
 
Funding:  The University of Queensland (VC Strategic Funding Scheme)
Project Partners:  The University of Queensland
Chief Investigator:  Professor Tapan Saha
Research Staff:  Dr Hui Ma, Ian Greg, Dr Chandima Ekanayake
PHD Student:  Mr Raj Jadav
Project is now completed.
 

 

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Contact Information

Professor Tapan Saha

Professor Tapan Saha

Ph: +61 7 3365 3962
saha@itee.uq.edu.au

School of Information Technology & Electrical
  Engineering