School of
Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

The research in Power and Energy Systems is supported by sophisticated laboratory facilities, including Australia's leading transformer research centre, The Australasian Transformer Innovation Centre, housed at UQ's Long Pocket campus.

Our facilities include:

The Australasian Transformer Innovation Centre
GREEN Pulsed Power
UQ Solar
Renewable Energy Laboratory
Machines Laboratory
Power Systems and Power Quality Laboratory
Intelligent Plant Diagnostics Laboratory

The Australasian Transformer Innovation Centre

Australia’s Leading Transformer Research Centre: Filling Australia’s critical need for Transformer Innovation and Education. Collaborative initiative by Australia’s Transformer experts from research and industry. Over $1million jointly committed and being invested to establish the centre including:

  • Wilson Transformer Company donated natural ester oil filled research transformer
  • Dynamic Ratings state-of-the-art on-line condition monitoring system
  • Reinhausen’s latest generation tap changers and education
  • University of Queensland new Long Pocket Transformer Laboratory
  • Collaborative effort by UQ, QUT, UNSW and Griffith researchers

The research programme is designed to create innovations that meet the evolving needs of industry including:

  • Decreasing the risk of transformer failure during normal and contingency events
  • Reducing maintenance costs and extending life with improved condition monitoring
  • Investigating improved operation, performance and risks with natural esters oil
  • Increasing transformer utilisation and working transformers smarter
  • Investigating effects of renewable generation on transformer life and cyclic rating

The new centre offers innovation and CPD programmes purpose built for the industry’s future needs and delivered by acclaimed transformer experts.

The programmes bring a total focus on best practice asset management and high performance. Member organisations will reap the benefits of this focus through reduced costs, increased asset performance, reliability and asset management breakthroughs.

Basic transformer courses will include transformer theory and applications, procurement, design, operation, maintenance and condition monitoring techniques. Advanced courses will include transformer ageing, failure analysis, specifying for requirements, dynamic loading, and condition based maintenance. Courses will be delivered by transformer experts from universities, transformer manufacturers and transmission and distribution companies.

Renewable Energy Laboratory

The renewable energy laboratory was developed with funding from AGL Solar Flagship Education Infrastructure Fund.

The lab is equipped with modern renewable energy research facilities including:

  1. Two Real Time Digital Simulator racks
  2. Power Amplifiers
  3. Solar Emulator
  5. Battery Storage
  6. Battery simulator
  7. Wind turbine control setup (With dSPACE)
  8. Most commercial power systems analytical tools

Machines Laboratory

UQ has developed the Machines Laboratory as an online laboratory – in which real laboratory experiments can be accessed through the Internet using the MIT’s iLab environment.

This laboratory has a number of conventional laboratory experiments (Transformer & AC circuits) and a number of online machines experiments (AC, DC and Synchronous machines) using iLabs, which can be shared across university or across the world. The iLabs vision is to share expensive equipment and educational materials associated with lab experiments as broadly as possible within higher education and beyond. This is the only online machines laboratory in the country and is jointly funded by the Australian Power Institute and The University of Queensland.

Power Systems and Power Quality Laboratory

The power system simulation laboratory has analytical software tools to simulate, plan, design and control complex interconnected power systems with state of the art solutions.

The analytical tools available at PSS-L can solve power system problems in wide range of time frames, from micro seconds to steady state and study impact of renewable energy integration, Custom Power devices, etc. Some of the software tools available at the PSS-L are listed below. 

  1. PSS/E
  2. DSAT tools
  3. PowerWorld
  4. DigSILENT Power Factory

Apart from the above tools, the powerful sever located at the PSS-L carries a number of test power systems, both at transmission and distribution level typically used for research in power and energy system research.


Intelligent Plant Diagnostics Laboratory

A well-equipped insulation diagnostics laboratory, which is very actively used for insulation degradation and over-stress measurements. This lab includes a lightning impulse voltage generator, single and multiple impulse current generators, 300kV AC transformer system, Recovery Voltage and Polarisation / Depolarisation current measurement system, frequency domain dielectric spectroscopy equipment with HV variable frequency power supply, Partial Discharge Measurement System, thermal imaging camera and Frequency Response Analyser.

Intelligent Plant Diagnostic laboratory has a special accelerated ageing experimental facility at Long Pocket. This laboratory is suitable for long term ageing experiments under controlled moisture and temperature for transformers and other insulation materials.

GREEN Pulsed Power

Power electronics refers to control and conversion of electrical power - from milliwatts to hundreds of megawatts - using semiconductor power devices operating based on Pulse Width Modulation strategy. It is challenging to develop, design and optimise a compact high power converter based on Wide Band Gap (WBG) switching devices due to reliability, Electromagnetic Interferences and packaging issues of the whole system.

GREEN Pulsed Power 1

GREEN Pulsed Power 2

  • Grid Robustness and Energy Efficiency of Networks (GREEN)

    In our advanced lab, we are able to perform power quality and grid robustness modelling, analysis and tests covering harmonics and supra harmonics (0-170 kHz) for distribution systems and micro grids with high penetration of power electronics converters. We also investigate energy efficiency of grids and grid connected equipment with respect to international and national regulations and standardizations. Our research group have access to state of the art power quality equipment, power electronics design platforms, Multi-physics simulation platform and a micro-grid simulator.

  • Pulsed Power

    In our advanced pulsed power lab, we are able to design high voltage pulsed power systems based on power electronics converters. Access to high end pulsed power technology to perform high voltage nanosecond pulsed power excitation targeting industrial and bioelectrics applications such as water treatment, food processing and pollutant and gas control systems. We perform micro and macro modelling of systems in order to optimise pulsed power excitation.

For more information about GREEN Pulsed Power, please contact:
Dr Firuz Zare