PhD in Electrical Engineering Damping of sub-synchronous resonance

Project Description:

The transmission network in the UK is being stretched due to an increasing demand for power transmission combined with the difficulty in consenting new lines. Series compensation of transmission lines is a widely-used method to improve the effective capacity of the transmission system, thus avoiding the need to build new lines in many parts of the network. However, series compensation of lines creates the risk of torsional oscillations between the electrical network and generators. These oscillations are referred to as sub-synchronous resonance (SSR) since they typically occur at sub-synchronous frequencies (<50 Hz). SSR, if left unattended, has been known to cause serious damage to generators.

The thyristor-controlled series capacitor (TCSC) is one of the most effective countermeasures in practice due to its natural mitigating effect, as well as its ability to damp SSR through a controller. However, the strong dependency between network parameters and generator data plus the complex function of the TCSC require comprehensive studies prior to the installation of a TCSC into the transmission system.

To address these challenges, the research project investigates series compensation and the damping of SSR. An SSR damping controller for a TCSC will be designed. Since a TCSC is expensive compared to conventional series compensation, an SSR detection scheme and a lower-cost passive solution will be proposed. Both alternatives will be compared and verified in terms of their effectiveness for SSR damping. A real-time digital simulator (RTDS) will be used to verify the system studies and control algorithms.

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The research will build upon the extensive experience of Siemens in TCSCs as well as the experience of Cardiff on series compensation and the use of an RTDS. The project offers the possibility for the successful applicant to carry out an industrial placement in Siemens and also offers an enhanced annual stipend.

Start Date: 1st January 2014


The full award will cover fees at the Home/EU rate and will provide an annual enhanced stipend (minimum £16,726 in 2013/14).


Academic Criteria: Candidates should hold or expect to gain a first class degree or a good 2.1 and/or an appropriate Master’s level qualification (or their equivalent) in Electrical Engineering or a related discipline. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent).

Residency: Due to funding restrictions the studentship is open to UK students, EU students who have been resident in the UK for three years at the course start date or other candidates who can demonstrate a connection to the UK, usually through residency. Other EU applications may be eligible for a fees-only award.

How to Apply

Application Deadline: 30th November 2013

For further information and details on how to apply, please click on the Apply button below.

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