ABOUT US

 

At Power Engineering Laboratory (PEng Lab), we seek to advance the situational awareness and security in both today’s and future power systems. Specifically, our research contributes to real-time identification of critical network information through manipulating the time-series data collected from advanced sensors such as Phasor Measurement Units and Smart Meters. Corrective actions, based on control theory and behavioural science, can then be developed and applied to maintain the grid resilience. Our mission is to close the loop between the society and the power grid, i.e., the society-in-the-loop.

Group gathering, 30 August 2019

RESEARCH FOCUS

Microgrids are the building blocks of the next-gen grid. Due to the close geographical proximity between microgrids, the cross-coupling of active power and reactive power as well as the electromagnetic dynamics in power lines can destabilise their interconnections. We are deriving novel control theories that ensure reliable power sharing among networked microgrids and connected devices for any topological configurations. The goal is to allow renewable distributed energy resources to be connected to the utility in a plug-and-play manner without comprising on the system reliability.

Disinformation can be weaponised to manipulate political elections, public opinions, and individual behaviour in the long-term. In the short-term, disinformation can be exploited to bring down critical infrastructures through consumer-driven services, e.g., a demand response program. We are investigating the potential of causing regional and wide-area power outages through manipulated decisions from energy consumers in a deregulated market environment. This is the first research to study the infrastructure resilience with respect to the community behaviour, i.e., the notion of society-in-the-loop. The aim is to convert the negative behavioural implication of to a positive outcome--treating consumers as flexible and dependable resources.

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS 

We have demonstrated that an adversary can cause blackouts on a city scale, not by tampering with the hardware or hacking into the control systems of the power grid, but rather by focusing entirely on behaviour manipulation. More broadly, this study is the first to demonstrate that in an era when disinformation can be weaponised, system vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure arise not only from the hardware and software, but also from the behaviour of the consumers.

Small-signal instability of inverter-based microgrids under droop control occurs due to two separate phenomena: P-V/Q-f cross coupling and line dynamics. They caused unstable power sharing among droop-controlled microgrids. In this research, we developed a general formula-based lead compensator to compensate the distribution system lag. The method does not demand additional hardware investment, and can significantly expands the stability region.

A Bayesian-based approximated filter (BAF) has been designed for restoring transient dynamics embedded in PMU measurements​. The proposed scheme utilizes distributed monitoring and data fusion techniques to isolate malicious data. As a result, the resilience of monitoring applications against various types of cyber-attacks is improved. This method was validated using recorded PMU data from New Zealand.

In a microgrid, the slower dynamics of a synchronous generator are more problematic than those of renewable generations managed by power electronic converters. Specifically, electromechanical oscillations can trip a synchronous machine if they do not decay within a few seconds. Here, we demonstrated a synchronous generator was able to damp such power oscillations (green curve) in a prototyped microgrid.

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