Energy Distribution & Infrastructure + ETP

Welcome to our resource page for Energy, Distribution & Infrastructure (EDI). You will find information about how ETP can help you as well as details of funding calls, events and news for this energy theme.

The challenge of integrating renewable energy sources like wind, tidal and wave into the electricity power system is at the core of ETP universities’ work with industry. This integration presents a range of technical and economic issues about how to mesh traditional power engineering, advanced electronics, monitoring and control technologies, software as well as information and communications technology. ETP universities are well placed to support the development, demonstration and deployment of these next generation grid and related systems technologies.

Distributed generation

Increasing the penetration of renewables introduces a wide range of technical challenges which require innovation to generate novel approaches and technologies. From maximising the capacity of distribution networks with hardware and software solutions to intelligently managing and controlling distributed generation (‘smart grid’) and demand-side management, to centralised communications and network security, ETP members are tackling these issues through desktop research, laboratory work and field studies.

Power systems

The detailed modeling of systems under various scenarios is critical to research efforts. Whether it involves power systems modeling, simulation and analysis, or detailed models of new load categories focused on next generation of high-efficiency electronic loads (e.g. plug-in chargers for electric vehicles, LEDs and high-intensity discharge lighting sources), ETP has the expertise in modeling and analysis to help resolve critical interconnection, operation, control and protection issues.

Power electronics

A power system with distributed renewable energy sources requires more complex control and safety systems with advanced power electronics. ETP research into novel converters, DC /DC conversion, High Voltage DC (HVDC), inverter-connected generation and control, as well as power electronics components and materials, supports the development and deployment of next-generation transmission and distribution systems.

Digital communications

Communications is a critical element in power systems and many evolving smart grid technologies. This raises new issues of communication and network types, data speed, security and analysis. ETP research areas include signal processing; communications systems, human interface factors and data analytics.

Electrical Machines

Research into electrical machines (incorporating power electronics) is focused on the design of novel machines for use in renewable energy systems (e.g. direct drive wave, wind and tidal current systems/ generators) and the hardware/ software developments required in electrical motor and generator control and testing. Power electronic converters are also being developed for interfacing these renewable energy systems to the grid and for control purposes to optimise performance. In addition, there is also research into electronic power supplies.

Knowledge Exchange Network (KEN)

KEN offers Scottish SMEs access to resources including project funding to work with Scottish universities on low-carbon innovation projects.

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Power Systems Facilities

A key facility in the Scottish research portfolio is the Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC). A collaborative venture involving the University of Strathclyde, Scottish Enterprise and an industrial membership that includes ScottishPower and SSE, the PNDC is a purpose-built platform for researching and developing state-of-the-art electrical transmission, distribution and generation innovation. The facility will be focused on accelerating the adoption of new technologies, from advanced power grids to electric cars and household appliances.

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