Postgraduate research opportunities

Impedance based stability studies of hybrid medium voltage DC/AC networks

A motivated PhD student is invited to join the Power Electronics, Energy Conversion and Drive (PEDEC) Group within the Institute for Energy and Environment to conduct research on advanced converter control and stability assessment of hybrids AC/DC medium voltage networks.

Number of places

1

Funding

Home fee, Stipend

Opens

11 January 2021

Deadline

22 February 2021

Eligibility

To be considered for the project, candidates must:

·         Possess an undergraduate MEng, first-class BSc/BEng Honours or postgraduate MSc degree in Electrical/Mechanical Engineering, Physics, or similar.

·         Have a demonstrable ability to investigate research problems in an effective manner.

·         Have a strong background on power converters, control, modelling and stability.

 

Tuition fees and stipend are only fully covered for UK/EU students.

Project Details

The impedance-based stability analysis method is being investigated as a tool to assess the stability of grid-connected converters. Among other advantages, the impedance-based stability criteria allow the characterisation of a converter without knowing the control structure or the controller gains performing a frequency scan. This PhD will expand the impedance-based methods to MVDC systems considering the interactions between AC and DC systems.

 

MVDC is a promising technology to connect small to medium size offshore wind farms as well as replacing already existing congested MVAC lines. The thesis will expand the impedance method to cover the stability of hybrid AC/DC systems. In addition, the impedance method needs to linearise the converter system at its operating point. How to extend the application range of linearisation in a variable grid environment needs further research. The impedance analysis method needs to model and analyse the converter in the form of multiple input multiple-output (MIMO) system (due to dq component). Different converter control strategies will be analysed, including grid forming.

 

Working closely with researchers in the PEDEC research group, other InstEE research groups and the technical University Graz University, the successful applicant will have access to state of the art facilities including Strathclyde’s power electronics laboratories, real-time simulators and hardware-in-the-loop experimental platforms. These are further complemented by the extensive expertise across the entire InstEE team https://www.strath.ac.uk/research/subjects/electronicelectricalengineering/instituteforenergyenvironment/, and the MW-scale Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) https://www.strath.ac.uk/research/powernetworksdemonstrationcentre/ .

 

As part of the project, the successful candidate will also benefit from the training delivered as part of the University of Strathclyde’s Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development.

Funding Details

Funding is available for the successful candidate that will cover an annual tax free stipend and full tuition fees (if UK or eligible EU national) or part fees (others). The stipend starts at £15,285.

Supervisor

The supervisor will be Dr Agustí Egea-Àlvarez, a Strathclyde Chancellor’s Fellow (Lecturer) in the Electronic & Electrical Engineering department and member of the PEDEC (Power Electronics, Drives and Energy Conversion) Group.

Dr Egea-Àlvarez’s background and expertise can be found at: 

https://www.strath.ac.uk/staff/egeaalvarezagustidr/

How to apply

Candidates should email with reference “PhD-SMVDC” a detailed CV with contact information for two academic referees, and a covering letter highlighting their suitability for the position, to Dr Agusti Egea-Alvarez (agusti.egea@strath.ac.uk). Following review of the application submissions, selected candidates will be invited for interview.

The application deadline is 22 February 2021.

The project is available for a start from June 2021.

If you wish to discuss any details of the projects informally, please email Dr Egea-Alvarez quoting reference “PhD-SMVDC”.