Electrical Power Systems

The Electric Power Systems research group is concerned with the safe, secure and intelligent generation, transmission, distribution, storage and use of electrical energy for industrial and residential purposes.

Power lines behind solar panels

Our research has been instrumental in helping South Australia forge a path in renewable energy deployment, and will likely be applied interstate and internationally as demand for this energy source continues to grow.

As the world becomes increasingly disposed towards using intermittent renewable energy sources, there is a corresponding demand for optimal planning and deployment of energy storage and demand management systems, wholesale and local energy markets design and network development.

Reflecting this, our Electric Power Systems group’s research is focused on the transition to an electricity supply system catering predominantly for intermittent renewable sources. This includes:

  • optimal power system and resources planning and operation to securely and reliably integrate increasing amounts of renewable resources
  • developing new control strategies and systems to address the significant new technical challenges of asynchronously connected sources
  • applying energy storage in power systems in generation, distribution and with consumers
  • analysing power systems’ dynamic performance and operating limits
  • developing methods to integrate renewable energy sources into very weak power systems
  • mining electrification using different storage and microgrid technologies
  • developing simulation tools for flexibility aggregator’s operation in the future distribution networks
  • investigating technologies to support the future electric grid, including infrastructure for electric vehicles
  • analysing power-system security and addressing vulnerabilities associated with the Internet of Things.
  • Research impact

    Our group’s research has translated into significant real-world impact. For example, the group’s:

    • Australian Energy Storage Knowledge Bank project produced a fully-instrumented energy storage system, presently being tested at Cape Jervis, and a data bank showing all operational Australian energy storage systems’ performance
    • Mudpack commercial software package is used by the Australian Energy Market Operator, and most power system transmission network service providers, to analyse power system dynamics and control-system design
    • power-system stabiliser tuning methodologies—embedded in the Mudpack package—have helped facilitate power-system interconnection between South Australia and Victoria, and Queensland and New South Wales
    • AULimit software for calculating maximum secure interregional power-transfer limits is used by ElectraNet to help define the South Australian power system’s secure technical operating envelope in all conditions.
  • Consulting services

    We advise on, and lead, projects relating to:

    • power system modelling and simulation
    • power generation and load connection studies, and associated reporting
    • dynamic performance analysis
    • mine electrification assessment and planning
    • optimal technology selection, sizing and operation of microgrids for different applications
    • control-system design
    • power system stabiliser tuning
    • developing power system analysis and study automation tools
    • analysing power system energy storage
    • integrating renewable energy in power systems
    • analysing power systems’ operational limits
    • monitoring electric power system components’ quality and condition.
  • Our researchers

    We have expertise across a wide range of areas. Many of our researchers are available to assist with research project supervision for Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy students.

    Research team Expertise
    Associate Professor Nesimi Ertugrul Electric machines and drives; Renewable energy/energy storage; Driverless systems
    David Vowles Power system dynamics; Renewable energy integration; Power system limits
    Associate Professor Wen Soong Electric machines and drives; Renewable energy/energy storage
    Dr Ali Pourmousavi Kani Renewable energy/energy storage; Electricity markets; Distribution network operation


    To enquire about consulting services or working with us on a research project, please contact David Vowles.

  • Collaborations

Higher degree by research opportunities

Higher degree by research opportunities

Be involved in engineering discovery, invention, and cutting-edge research through a higher degree by research. Join our Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy programs. 

HDR opportunities