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Wide-Area Backup Protection in Power Systems with High Penetration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES)


About This PhD Project

Project Description

Protection of power systems against different types of abnormalities, such as short-circuit faults, is extremely curtail. Short circuit faults, if not cleared fast enough or remain undetected, could lead to damage of costly equipment or extended loss of service. Since a single hour of downtime may cost the country tens of million pounds, the upgrade and improvement of traditional power system protection practices have received increasing attention in recent years.

The wide-area monitoring system has the potential to offer a more effective backup protection than local practices as it affords access to a more reliable set of phasor measurements. In this context, wide-area backup protection (WABP) is defined as the application of synchrophasors provided by phasor measurement units (PMUs) or protective relays to inferring the faulted line and isolating the smallest faulty area in case primary protection fails to do so.

This project is aimed at proposing a computationally low-demanding WABP scheme for transmission systems with high penetrations of Renewable Energy Sources (RES), by focusing on technical challenges which have not been sufficiently investigated, so far. The WABP scheme to be proposed needs to accurately pinpoint the faulted line and the operation of its corresponding circuit breakers (CBs) for over hundreds of milliseconds following the fault inception. Identifying the faulted line will be attributed to a linear system of equations in order to remove concerns over convergence speed and/or multiplicity of the solution.

The proposed scheme will be robust against communication channels failure, synchronization errors and the complete loss of the global positioning system (GPS) signal. This is why collaboration with researchers working on communication systems is deemed curtail to this project. Addressing the forgoing challenges will make the proposed scheme an attractive option to be merged with other real-time applications normally run in the control room.

The Smart Grid Laboratory facilities and equipment will be used to validate the proposed solutions using a hardware-in-the-loop setup. In this way, it will be possible to evaluate the effectiveness of those solutions in more realistic conditions. This project will also benefit from the facilities in the Communication Networks and Systems lab to build the communication network nodes and interconnect them using a range of fibre lengths. Concerning communication networks reliability and survivability, a wide variety of failure scenarios in the communication network and power system will be jointly studied and improved communication network designs will be proposed with resilience as a core metric.

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