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Investigation & Modelling of Power System Fast Frequency Phenomena

Renewable generation has been growing at historically high rates over the last decade in the UK as well as other parts of the world. This rapid growth is predicted to continue at an increasing pace in order to achieve legally binding 2050 climate change targets as agreed for the UK. One important characteristic of this new generation is that it is connected through power electronic converters and subsequently does not present any inertia to the power system. This has two important consequences at the system operational level:

  1. When unavoidable disturbances occur on power systems, for example, faults causing large generators or transmission lines to trip, these events lead to larger frequency fluctuations than in the past;
  2. Compounding this operational challenge, the renewable generation itself is also more likely to trip as a result of the frequency fluctuation, either due to the rate of change of frequency (“ROCOF”) or the sudden change in phase angle (“vector shift”).

A particular focus of this project is the spatial behaviour of system frequency following a disturbance:

  1. Mapping the spatial frequency disturbance from known disturbance locations (largest loss of generation or demand) onto the distribution of vulnerable renewable generation to predict the likely impact of typical events;
  2. Developing operational procedures and measures that can be used in day-ahead and real-time operation to refine the application of the inertia management criteria.

Applicants should have a good honours degree in electronic and electrical engineering or a closely related discipline. Ideal candidates would also have a strong personal interest in power systems and developing environmentally beneficial technology for the transmission and distribution of decarbonised electrical power.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Meet the Supervisor(s)

Gareth Taylor - Prof Gareth Taylor - Professor of Power Systems Head of Departmemt - Electronic and Electrical Engineering Module Leader - MSc Sustainable Electrical Power Director of BIPS - Brunel Institute of Power Systems Gareth joined Brunel in May 2000 from the University of Greenwich in London. He was a National Grid Post-doctoral Scholar from 2000-2003 and joined Electronic and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering and Design as a lecturer in June 2003. He established the new MSc Sustainable Electrical Power as the Course Director in September 2006. He has been a research active member of the Brunel University Research Centre BIPS since May 2000 and was appoinyed as Director in 2010. He was appointed as a Professor in Power Systems in 2012 and as the Head of the Dpartment of Electronic and Electrical Engineering from September 2020.