Power Networks Research Academy

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Abstract

Since the early 1990s, there has been a steady reduction in the number of engineers working in this power sector, due to privatisation, restructuring and increased opportunities in other sectors. This has resulted in an unfavourable age profile in the industry and an anticipated future deficit. This situation was recognised and resulted in the creation of the IET Power Academy (PA) in 2004 to attract able and motivated students into power engineering courses at selected universities, using generous scholarships from the 16 partner power companies. Parallel to the engineering workforce decline in the electrical power industry, university-based research has also shrunk to a minimum in this area, with fewer academic staff available to teach undergraduates and perform research. This reduction in the pool of power engineers has inevitably had an impact on the availability of academic and research staff to:* teach electrical power engineering courses at undergraduate and taught post-graduate level. Of particular relevance here will be Power Academy and other home students as well as the overseas market in which the UK has been traditionally strong.* provide power networks engineering research solutions in the UK to respond to the challenges arising from power grid renewal, the impact of government low carbon policies, and to ensure future network resilience.This application for the creation of the Power Networks Research Academy (PNRA) will provide a future supply of academic/research staff for the UK university sector. The PNRA, by awarding PhD scholarships, will establish effective mechanisms to enable power network companies and related manufacturers and suppliers to work effectively with universities in helping to fund and support needed areas of research. The PNRA and the PA, thus, have a common aim, but with different destinations, of providing future electrical power engineers. It is anticipated that the PA offers a useful template for the establishment of the PNRA and, in this first application for funding, the universities involved in the PA will, similarly, be part of the PNRA consortium. From the industrial side, UK transmission and distribution network operators as well as manufacturers are supporting this proposal.
 
Description The Power Networks Academy is delviering a portfolio of research advances to a number of distribution network operators who support the scheme. These include novel advances in power systems planning, fault prediction, equipment design, equipment and system monitoring, environmental concerns and security and stability.
Exploitation Route Novel advances in power systems planning, fault prediction, equipment design, equipment and system monitoring, environmental concerns and security and stability.
Sectors Energy

 
Description The industry partners are currently funding translational activities that will transfer the research outcomes from key funded projects into ongoing use by the distribution network operators. These are in the areas of new plant design and monitoring of power quality on power lines. A fault prediction algorithm developed by one of the projects was recently adapted for online, continual, use within one of the network operator's control rooms. The research is therefore providing fault prediction functionality in a live environment, supporting the operation of the network and having an impact on risk, resilience and customer minutes lost.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Energy
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Provided training to engineers from TNB Malaysia
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact The engineers have advanced themselves through further knowledge of the field
URL http://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/b.pal
 
Description Training to Engineers from Power Industry in Chile
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact The engineers from grid operator in Chile have now much advanced knowledge about power system and wind energy modelling
URL https://www.linkedin.com/in/bikash-pal-0ba3a413/
 
Description By-Product Analysis of CF3I Gas Mixtures as an Alternative Interrupting Medium
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority 
Sector Public
Country Pakistan
Start 07/2015 
End 12/2015
 
Description CF3I gas and mixture as an alternative to SF6
Amount £105,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2010 
End 03/2014
 
Description Gas insulated lines for electrical power transport
Amount £15,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation Government of Wales 
Department Welsh European Funding Office
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2016 
End 07/2020
 
Description Maximising impact of alternatives to SF6 as an insulation medium
Amount £27,000 (GBP)
Organisation Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority 
Sector Public
Country Pakistan
Start 03/2017 
End 11/2017
 
Description Overhead Line Measurement System (OHMS): further development of system
Amount £16,200 (GBP)
Organisation Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority 
Sector Public
Country Pakistan
Start 12/2016 
End 11/2017
 
Description Overhead Line Measurement Systems (OHMS): Field Trial
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Organisation Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority 
Sector Public
Country Pakistan
Start 07/2015 
End 12/2015
 
Description Electricity system resilience 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Invited presentation on 'Electricity system resilience'; this was delivered in order to share information with other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description PNRA showcase 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact The event was the Low Carbon Networks Innovations ( LCNI) conference organised in Manchester the PNRA together with HUBNET manned a stand with poster displays of the work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016