Power Systems Analysis and Control
Research activity is centred upon extensive computer facilities for simulating the dynamic behaviour, control and monitoring of power systems, within a control room environment which can be configured to reflect either current or future planned operational procedures. Considerable use is made of artificial intelligence techniques for condition monitoring, network planning and optimised operation.
Research topics include continuing studies on state estimation/bad data analysis, load flow analysis, load-frequency control, economic allocation of generation, unit scheduling arid integrating these and other studies within an overall strategy for control and energy management. Aspects of pricing and tariffs are also being investigated. Particular attention has been paid to the man-machine interfacing requirements for operating large modern interconnected power systems via computer terminals, and systems are under development for new and efficient ways of displaying topological and dynamic network data.
Power Market and Power System Economics
World-wide unprecedented reform and restructuring of the electric power industry has imposed tremendous challenges on the operation of power systems under this new environment. The group has a record of international excellence in research and development of advanced computational tools for efficiently operating market-oriented power systems. Recent research covers all the major operational issues, such as scheduling and dispatch, congestion management, available transfer capability calculation, price forecasting and optimal bidding strategies. Advanced optimization techniques including genetic algorithms, ant colony search and particle swarm methods have been successfully applied.
The main field of investigation is the efficient regulation and control of power and energy flow in systems incorporating electric circuits, machines and systems using power semiconductor. switching devices. A major investigation over the past decade has been in the area of active filters for improving power quality and reactive control in electrical networks. With the tremendous growth in the use of computers on industrial sites and commercial buildings, there is growing concern about their impact on power quality.
A major initiative funded by industry and government agencies is under way to build active filters for controlling current harmonics based on the switched-capacitor technique pioneered at Brunel. The application of this technique to flexible AC transmission systems (FACTS) for reactive power and stability control in power distribution and transmission systems is under investigation.
Other important areas of study include switched-mode and resonant power supplies, and application of DSPs, neural networks and fuzzy logic in power electronics systems.