Power Distribution Networks

Research into electrical power and machines, draws upon simulation and optimisation models of renewable resources and ‘smart’ power system operation, advanced design concepts for direct drive and superconducting generators and reliability of power system components.

Research Impacts

Professor Gareth Harrison has led development of a sophisticated suite of spatio-temporal meteorological, oceanographic and hydrological modelling tools for enhanced long-term resource characterisation and grid integration studies. This includes high resolution weather models, whose output underpins the Scottish Government’s Electricity Dispatch Model.

New grid integration assessment approaches have evolved through MARINA Platform and Supergen Flexnet activity. Gareth Harrison (with Venugopal, Chick) has enhanced Edinburgh’s work on the implications of climate change on energy systems. This has culminated in the joint UoE/HW Adaptation and Resilience In Energy Systems (ARIES) project developing a whole systems risk management toolkit for deployment by UK utilities.

Steve McLaughlin (with Harrison, Wallace, Kiprakis, Djokic) leads the DESIMAX project assessing the value to the power system of deployment of state of the art digital interventions in energy use.

Professor Marcus Mueller and Shek focus on electrical direct drive systems for renewable energy converters, pioneering an integrated electromagnetic, structural and thermo-fluid modelling approach with condition monitoring and fault management. The integrated approach is now applied to floating wind-turbines (MARINA) and the 2012 Engineer Magazine’s Innovation Award award-winning SNAPPER multi-body models of wave converters. The industrial reach of the research is evident in the 2009 NGENTEC spinout to exploit advances in air-cored permanent magnet generators design, as well as the 2010 establishment of GE Power Conversion’s UK Advanced Technology Group (ATG) at Edinburgh to exploit the electrical machines and power electronics expertise.

Research Partners

Collaborations with leading groups include: Keane/O'Malley (University College Dublin), Fosso (NTNU) on power systems analysis; Polinder (TU Delft), Hsieh (NCKU Taiwan), Dorrell (UTS, Australia), HMRC Ireland, NTNU (MARINA Project) on electrical machine design; Desmet (Ghent/Elec Eng) and Bollen (Lulea); as well as several Chinese partners through Wallace’s involvement in the "UK-China Joint Research Consortium on Sustainable Electric Power Supply", and Mueller’s involvement in the UK-China Future Reliable Renewable Energy Conversion Systems.

Electrical Power Distribution Laboratory Research at Edinburgh University
Electrical Power Distribution