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Emerging Brushless Doubly-Fed Generator Technologies for Wind Power Applications (Advert Reference: RDF19/EE/MPEE/JOVANOVIC)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 25, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The Doubly-Fed Induction Generator (DFIG) has been traditionally used for grid-connected wind turbines by virtues of its good performance and cost benefits of a partially-rated power converter. However, the reliability concerns and high maintenance requirements associated with the presence of brush gear and a troublesome high-speed 3-stage gearbox prone to failures, coupled with the grid-code compatibility issues, are the well-known DFIG limitations. This fact has stimulated research in alternative, medium-speed, cost-effective brushless doubly-fed generator (BDFG) options offering reliable, maintenance-free operation of brushless construction, a simpler 1-2 stage gearbox, and the same fractional converter rating of the equivalent DFIG. Another important BDFG advantage over the DFIG is the superior grid-code compatibility afforded by the inherently higher inductances, hence the lower fault current levels and facilitated converter protection circuitries.

The dynamic modelling, comparative control development and grid integration of the novel BDFG types with reluctance and/or cage-assisted (hybrid) rotor designs will be investigated both theoretically and experimentally in this project. Realistic simulation studies will be conducted at a large-scale (MW) level, whereas the existing test facilities for the emulation of wind energy conversion systems in a laboratory environment will be used for practical implementations and experimental verifications of the simulation results. Both normal and faulty operating conditions of the BDFGs and their grid connection properties including the maximum power point tracking, low-voltage-ride-through capabilities and/or frequency support provision, will be considered. Such a comprehensive work on these viable state-of-the-art BDFG technologies for wind power applications has not been reported in the available literature published on the subject to date.

Knowledge of the fundamental theory, dynamic modelling and power electronics control of electrical machines, digital signal processing and/or high-level computer programming would be desirable for prospective applicants. The successful candidate would be associated with the reputable Electrical Power and Control Systems research group.
The principal supervisor for this project is Milutin Jovanovic.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:

• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF19/EE/MPEE/JOVANOVIC) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 25 January 2019
Start Date: 1 October 2019

Northumbria University is an equal opportunities provider and in welcoming applications for studentships from all sectors of the community we strongly encourage applications from women and under-represented groups.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Students Worldwide, and covers full fees and a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2018/19, this is £14,777 pa).


[1] F. Zhang, S. Yu., Y. Wang, S. Jin, M. G. Jovanovic, “Design and Performance Comparisons of Brushless Doubly-Fed Generators with Different Rotor Structures”, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, Vol. 66, No. 1, pp. 631-640, 2019.
[2] F. Zhang, H. Wang, G. Jia, D. Ma, M. G. Jovanovic, “Effects of design parameters on performance of brushless electrically-excited synchronous reluctance generator”, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, Vol. 65, No. 11, pp. 9179-9189, Nov. 2018.
[3] M. Cheng, P. Han, G. Buja, M. G. Jovanović, “Emerging Multi-Port Electrical Machines and Systems: Past Developments, Current Challenges and Future Prospects”, invited guest editorial paper, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, Vol. 65, No. 7, pp. 5422–5435, July 2018.
[4] A. B. Attya, S. Ademi, M. Jovanovic, O. Anaya-Lara, “Frequency support using doubly fed induction and reluctance wind turbine generators”, International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems (Elsevier), Vol. 101, pp.403-414, Oct. 2018.
[5] M. Jovanovic and H. Chaal, "Wind Power Applications of Doubly-Fed Reluctance Generators with Parameter-Free Hysteresis Control”, Energy Conversion and Management (Elsevier), Vol. 134, pp. 399-409, 2017.
[6] S. Ademi, M. Jovanovic, H. Chaal and W. Cao, “A new sensorless speed control scheme for doubly-fed reluctance generators”, IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, Vol. 31, Issue 3, pp. 993-1001, Sept. 2016.
[7] S. Ademi and M. Jovanovic, "A Novel Sensorless Speed Controller Design for Doubly-Fed Reluctance Wind Turbine Generators", Energy Conversion and Management (Elsevier), Vol. 120, pp. 229-237, July 2016.
[8] S. Ademi and M. Jovanovic, "Control of Doubly-Fed Reluctance Generators for Wind Power Applications", Renewable Energy (Elsevier), Vol. 85, pp. 171-180, Jan 2016.
[9] S. Ademi, M. Jovanovic and M. Hassan, "Control of Brushless Doubly-Fed Reluctance Generators for Wind Energy Conversion Systems", IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 596-604, 2015.
[10] S. Ademi and M. Jovanovic, "Vector Control Methods for Brushless Doubly-Fed Reluctance Machines", IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, Vol. 62, No. 1, pp. 96-104, January 2015.
[11] S. Ademi and M. Jovanovic, "High-Efficiency Control of Brushless Doubly-Fed Machines for Wind Turbines and Pump Drives", Energy Conversion and Management, Elsevier, Vol. 81, pp. 120-132, May 2014.

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