Smart energy systems

Our research

Communications

Technology is the focus of our research group and sustainability is the goal; our researchers take whole-system approach.

The transformed energy landscape will significantly shape the global economy. The revolutionary progress in the energy sector together with the ongoing booming of artificial intelligence (AI) and Information Communication Technologies (ICT) technologies will have profound impacts on our daily lives, from the way the energy is sourced, converted, transported, stored and consumed, to the way products are manufactured and services are provided. A society can only be sustainable if the whole energy chain, from top to tail, is sustainable.

Our internationally-leading research group advances the enabling technologies driving the transformation of today's electricity grid to a smarter and more sustainable system, working harmoniously with other energy vectors in achieving 0% carbon emissions. The electricity grid today is featured as a large scale, complex and highly nonlinear system. It possesses a variety of geographically distributed generators of different scales fed with different energy sources. The intermittent nature of distributed renewable generators and the current trend towards electrification of transportation (electric vehicles, railways and aircrafts),  home heating, and industrial sector demand entirely different thinking to the construction of future utility grids to provide our modern society with secure, reliable, efficient, sustainable and affordable electricity supply. 

Tackling important challenges

Our researchers address important challenges and problems at diverse stages of electric power systems, ranging from generation and conversion to transmission, distribution, and end-user consumption. We aim to provide sustainable and innovative solutions for the power industry, thus contributing to a low-carbon future with a high level of security and affordable energy prices. 

Particularly, recent developments in the electrification of the UK railway system and the high-speed railway construction are stimulating new applications of our work in AC traction power supply systems and their interconnection to power grids. Our focus is on enhancing power supply reliability, quality, efficiency, and equipment electromagnetic compatibility, hence improving the operation and maintenance efficiency of the railway system.

The group’s work is characterised by a systematic combination of modern mathematical tools from the areas of system theory, control engineering and optimisation with recent developments in power electronics and drives as well as ICT and AI. For example, we are:

  • Providing forward-thinking solutions for enhanced grid-integration of power-electronics-interfaced generation units.
  • Developing state-of-the-art converter topologies and their modulation and control methods for medium to high-power applications.
  • Investigating flexible distributed operation strategies for next-generation power systems.
  • Developing advanced methods for transient stability analysis, real-time security assessment, and preventive control in power systems.
  • Analysing the benefits of flexible AC transmission systems devices (FACTS) for smart grids.
  • Upgrading existing relaying practices and developing novel solutions for the protection of power systems with high penetration of renewable generation.
  • Tackling problems in railway electrification and the building of new high-speed rail systems.
  • Creating a novel integrated modelling and simulation platform for railway power supply systems, able to operate hardware-in-the-loop, and interact with physical equipment for testing, e.g. the rolling – stocks.
  • Developing intelligent energy storage management tools for both electric vehicles and utility grids featured with novel sensing technologies.
  • Implementing a new generation of AI-enabled secure and reliable cloud-based energy and health monitoring platform to assist the transition of energy-intensive industries to industry 4.0.

Research team

If you are interested in collaborating with us or joining our research team, please get in touch. 

PhD projects

We have opportunities for prospective postgraduate researchers. Find out more.

Contact us

If you would like to discuss an area of research in more detail, please contact a relevant member of the research team.