Project Update: Protection of electricity networks through simulation

For this Project Update we have been in contact with Dr. ir. Marjan Popov of the TU Delft. He has kindly given us some of his time, knowledge and experience to talk to us about the research behind, the consortium and the current state of the project. Dr. Popov has formed the idea and plan for the research topic, and this has led him to be part of the largest public-private collaboration in the national projects he has ever been part of.

The university plays a large role for the partners of the consortium by providing not only research and development, but also interactive knowledge exchange with professionals and other joint collaboration in terms of organising courses, workshops and sessions for both students and professionals.

When have the researchers started the project(s)?

Next to the supervisors (M. Popov and J. Rueda), four active researchers are involved. One researcher has successfully completed his postdoc . This makes a total of six active team members. Currently, there are no vacant positions.

  • Matija Naglic 1.09.2018 – 1.09.2019, postdoc (completed)
  • Ilya Tyuryukanov 1.03.2019 – 1.03.2021, postdoc
  • Aleksandar Boricic 1.06.2019 – 1.6.2023, PhD
  • Nidarshan Veera Kumar 1.09.2019-1.09.2023 PhD, yet a PIF form should be submitted
  • Marko Tealane (external visitor, included in the project but not paid by this project) 1.10.2019-1.10.2020

How and where does a project like this start?

The project starts with a definition of the goals and the collection of literature. Subsequently, the project topics are being discussed with partners included in the consortium.

What is the current state of the project?

The project is divided in 4 work packages (WPs). The first work package is completed as Dr. Matija Naglic completed his work. This work will be used by both PhDs in order to collect big data from the phasor measurements units located in the utilities.

The postdoc Ilya Tyuryukanov is halfway as he completed 50% of his task. A paper has been written, which soon will be submitted. The PhDs have started later (as mentioned above) as the postdocs had to pave way for obtaining more results.

How did the public-private consortium start?

TenneT is a platinum plus research partner and has already been involved in NWO-URSES as well as in other projects. Since the applicant started up a power system protection centre with TenneT, and DSOs Alliander, Stedin and GE, they have joined the project and supported it financially.

The research focuses on data, where does your data come from?

Up to now, the data have been generated by our Real Time Simulator. Since the WP1 dealt with developing a tool to collect real time data, and two pilot PMUs have been already installed at Enduris, the data will be collected directly from the system.

Some data regarding transmission level and distribution level data will also be obtained from Alliander and TenneT.

Do you collaborate with private companies?

Yes, we do. Our goal is that these companies will utilize the applications developed at the end. The companies help us with cases that result from experience in the exploitation of the electrical power system.

They have large data base of cases, including those where faults in the system occurred. This is exactly what we need. As currently lots of efforts are put in commissioning more distribution generation, we are advised on how to proceed.

Besides, they put quite some efforts so far to make the stream of measured data from the system possible.

We also collaborate on knowledge exchange, we host and organize courses and workshops for professionals and students. The energy transition makes that the system is changing rapidly and this needs attention from the educational perspective as we as researchers can provide insight and knowledge. Our role is to look ahead and figure out solutions for future problems.

Do private companies have an active role in the project?

As a university and research institute, we develop algorithms based on data and knowledge being exchanged between us and the consortium partners. Where necessary, we ask for help and the consortium partners come forward with their contribution. In the previous question there is one example of the contribution of the partners where quite some time has been spent on making the system work.

What were the challenges during the start-up phase?

Planning the work and the structure was something that needed polishing as the research plan is to be aligned with the research questions.

Finally, the plan should be written in a way that makes it doable for the period of 4 years. Subsequently, attention should be paid to whether the utilization is well satisfied, seeing that we do our best to make sure that what we develop can be used by the partners in the future. In this way, we can continue research in follow-up work.

Are there any results/outcomes to share albeit with caution? Have you already published the results somewhere, or are they available online?

A publication has been already accepted in IEEE Transactions on SG on WP1 ( it is uploaded via ISAAC system). The other postdoc is still working on the output from the past 10 months. As the PhDs have just started, they are still collecting literature and working on the project according to the program.

Are you following the same approach as in the beginning or have progressing insights changed course?

Yes, the same approach is still followed according to the road map defined in the beginning as the PhD thesis does not allow for much deviation. Of course, the road map is agreed with the project partners

How is cooperating with the consortium?

Good. Relevant data and accompanying advice is made very accessible by the consortium, which is not common within power systems. We are lucky enough to have found partners that are very collaborative.

What are the concrete plans and actions for the upcoming year?

We expect to start developing smart algorithms for disturbance detection and vulnerable analysis. The year thereafter, we will try to utilize this in the DSOs.

If not, do you feel there is need for that?

If we were to find a fitting project, we would gladly get in touch with the researchers to explore the possibilities of collaboration.

What do you want to achieve at the end of the project?

We would like to realize models that will robustly predict possible failures in the power systems based on collected data. In this way, it will be possible to avoid disconnections of loads and prevent the occurrence of blackouts.

With the growth of new energy sources this is becoming larger challenge. The monitoring, stability and the load of the network is becoming more complex and this requires a different approach.

What's the biggest challenge?

We would like to be the international leader who will provide solution on these open questions. Just like in URSES and in other recently finished EU projects where we obtained meaningful results, we are committed to contribute further with the knowledge that we have gained.

11 February 2020

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