Digitalisation of Electrical Power and Energy Systems Operation (DEEPS)

Lead Research Organisation: Brunel University London
Department Name: Electronic and Electrical Engineering


Electrical power and energy systems represent critical national infrastructure that interoperates with wider economic sectors including transport, communications, agriculture, manufacturing, construction and education. Reliable power system operation is the key in ensuring the electricity generated from various energy sources can travel in a secure way to meet the electrical loads of those sectors. Reliable power system operation will greatly impact the social comfort of people's lives as well as the healthy growth of the UK economy. Electrical power and energy systems will be key to meet legally binding 100% decarbonisation of overall energy usage in the UK. As a consequence, the large scale of low-carbon and renewable energy sources (RES) such as wind and solar, together with electric vehicles, energy storage and smart grids are integrated into the top and tail of future power systems. These new technologies are fundamentally changing the way power systems operate with complex infrastructure and highly dispersed RES. The increasing size and complexity of electrical power and energy systems require advanced monitoring, modelling and control techniques to handle major disturbances such as blackouts. In August 2019, around 1 million homes lost power due to a series of events on the GB power system with high penetration of RES under extreme weather impacts. The UK has rich RES and ambitious net zero targets, but its power systems are geographically islanded from the mainland with limited undersea cable connections, reduced system "strength" due to many small RES replacing large centrally controlled power plants, making the GB power systems more "brittle" and "volatile" under the major system events.
The Fellow will take an industry focused approach to investigate the fundamental modelling methods and advanced simulation tools to address the challenges in real-time power system operation with up to 100% low-carbon and RES. A key novelty of this Fellowship is to understand the fundamental interdependency and interoperability of various energy systems and entities, and across transmission, distribution and renewable system operators. This will include novel development of whole system modelling approaches and applications of digital simulation techniques into the future power system operation. The Fellowship development will be based on the Fellow's highly relevant industry experience in Electricity National Control as well as research expertise in renewable power system operation. The Fellow will work with electricity system operators at the whole system level (transmission, distribution, renewables) and is supported by market-leading digital technology industry partners. Prototype applications will be demonstrated in power systems and computing facilities at Brunel University London, with further deployment to energy management systems at industrial scales. The investigation, development, demonstration and deployment of advanced power system models, tools and techniques will provide cost-effective and scalable simulation platforms to wider industry and academic communities. The research and innovation outcomes of the Fellowship will be expected to better monitoring and managing of power systems as well as maintaining the control and optimisation of power grid reliability. This will assist in achieving the UK net zero emissions target through the energy transition of digitalisation, decarbonisation and decentralisation.
With support from UKRI and host institution the Fellow will develop into a Future Leader in the field of power and energy systems digitalisation, by working with eight industrial partners in power systems engineering and digital technologies, three internationally respected research and engineering societies, and accessing mentors from academia and industry. The Fellowship will plan intensive training activities across academia and industry, as well as building Fellow's research and innovation networks.


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Description The Future Leaders Fellowship project has developed a novel node importance index which evaluated the importance of cyber nodes in a graph-based cyber-physical power system (CPPS) model. The cyber node importance index (CNII) has defined by taking into account cascading failure, betweenness centrality and time delay of the shortest paths in the CPPS model. This was applied to a realistic system, in which the UK's BT 21CN was linked with the GB TSRM by representing them as adjacency matrices. Cascading failure was simulated in the network to see the extent of damage each cyber node failure had on the physical network. The betweenness centrality of each cyber node and the time delays were also calculated. The results show the advantages and importance of considering time delay of shortest paths in the CNII for the analysis of node importance in realistic CPPS models.

The research outcomes from this Future Leaders Fellowship have been disseminated in two international research conferences: 1. 57th International Universities Power Engineering Conference (UPEC 2022), and 2. IET International Conference on Advances in Power System Control, Operation and Management (APSCOM 2022). One research paper: 'Cyber-Physical Contingency and Vulnerability Assessment Using Double Power Flow Method (Paper ID57)' has been awarded as 'High-quality Conference Paper'.
Exploitation Route The outcomes of this funding will be published in research papers and presented in international conferences such as IEEE PES General Meetings, International Conferences on Applied Energy.
A research website will be created by the Fellowship team and host organisation to disseminate the research outcomes including the open access data, algorithms and models from this Future Leaders Fellowship.
Sectors Energy

Title Double Power Flow Method for Cyber-Physical Contingency and Vulnerability Assessment 
Description A vulnerability assessment using double power flow method is proposed in cyber-physical power systems. The model is based on the IEEE 39-bus network using MATLAB and MATPOWER toolbox. The model contains double power flows, one is to simulate the virtual power flow driven by the decision from the control centre and second one is to simulate the actual power flow. During a cyber-attack, the results from the double power flow method demonstrate a difference which serves as an indicator that a cyber-attack has occurred. The proposed novel vulnerability assessment index considers cyber latency, voltage variation and node centrality as three key parameters in comparing the importance of different nodes. The results can quantify the vulnerabilities in cyber nodes and assess the impact for cyber security strategy. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2023 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact An international conference paper has been presented with the modelling work to wider research communities in the 2022 IET International Conference on Advances in Power System Control, Operation and Management. This work has won the 'High-quality Conference Paper' to be recommended for Special Issue of IET Smart Grid 
Description VSM - Virtual Synchronous Machines Working Group 
Organisation Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Department IEEE Standards Association
Country United States 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Involve in drafting an IEEE Standard which will define the fundamental principles, mandatory functions, and optional functions of a Virtual Synchronous Machine (VSM). This VSM technology can make distributed energy resources compatible with power systems, which helps smooth the transition of power systems from centralized generation to distributed generation. It will play a vital role in the large-scale adoption of distributed energy resources, the advancement of sustainability, and the development of a low-carbon economy.
Collaborator Contribution Offer an opportunity to be a member of IEEE Standards Association and Virtual Synchronous Machines Working Group, disseminate the latest research on cyber-physical power systems modelling and simulation from the Future Leaders Fellowship project.
Impact Regular working group meeting, IEEE Standards drafting and review for Virtual Synchronous Machines.
Start Year 2023