Named 40 under 40: Disruptor and Innovator

Friday | 6 November 2020

 

Dr. Jimmy Peng was named one of the 40 under 40: Disruptor and Innovator by his alma mater -- the University of Auckland. His research in power system operation contributes to the enhancement of grid resilience against disturbances and cyber-attacks. Specifically, the design of power sharing control for inverter-based microgrids enables renewable generations to be connected to the main grid in a plug-and-play manner. Further, the recent research in disinformation attacks demonstrates that the electrical infrastructure is vulnerable to disinformation campaigns. For instance, asking consumers to shift their energy consumption to unusual period such that some lines are then tripped due to overloading. This is perhaps the first interdisciplinary research studying grid resilience from the perspective of power engineering, social science, and network science. It is a great honour that Dr. Peng's achievements are not only recognised by his academic peers, but also by his alma mater. A summary of the interview with Dr. Peng is available here.

 

Forum Letter in Straits Times Newspaper 

Wednesday | 28 October 2020

 

The recent agreement to import renewable energy from Malaysia to Singapore through submarine cables is a start of a new ear for the local power industry. Singapore will no longer be operating an isolated grid, and instead will be interconnected with its neighbour. Although importing power can help to decarbonise the generation profile of the nation, the interconnection introduces new dynamics and operating challenges that are new to Singapore. For example, inter-area power oscillations will be present in the power grids, which will be new to the Singaporean grid. Therefore, it is important for the power utilities to study and analyse the potential risks involved in this new paradigm, and subsequently deploy adequate mitigation solutions.

This letter was the cover article in the printed newspaper. The electronic version can be found here.

 

Latest Research in Disinformation Attacks on Grids

Wednesday | 19 August 2020

 

Today, new social technologies have allowed the creation and spread of targeted disinformation at a scale like never before. If an adversary could manipulate individual behaviour at a scale and in a manner that reduces the system’s reliability, existing system protection schemes could be circumvented to cause disruption to the system. For the past two years, we have been investigating the magnitude of this new form of disinformation campaigns in the context of power grids. To our surprise, sending disinformation messages to customers can indeed cause pockets of electricity outages throughout a city like London. 

This research has also gained significant attention in the public, and received over 10k+ viewership within the first week! Our article has also been covered in the media by Fast Company magazineETH's Future Resilience Programme and Science Alert.

 

Forum Letter in Straits Times Newspaper 

Saturday | 11 July 2020

 

Much attention has been given to tackling climate change during the covid19 pandemic, but we should be mindful of exacerbating social inequalities as a consequence. This is an issue that has received less attention. Policies and solutions should ensure the livelihood of those with below-average earnings, especially during the current recession. We need to save our planet, but it should not be done at the expense of the less fortunate.

This letter was the cover article in the printed newspaper. The electronic version can be found here.

Salish Maharjan Successfully Defended his Ph.D.

Friday | 15 May 2020

 

Congratulation to Salish for successfully passing his Ph.D. oral defence. His dissertation is titled "analysis and predictive control of power distribution system with high penetration of PV resources." This research provides innovative solutions to enhance the voltage regulation within power distribution systems in the presence of intermittent renewable generations. As a result, the stability of the power grids is maintained, or improved in some cases. His research is supervised by Dr. Ashwin Khambadkone and Dr. Jimmy Peng.

 

Colm O'Rourke Successfully Defended his Ph.D. at MIT

Monday | 11 May 2020

 

Congratulation to Colm for successfully completing his Ph.D. oral defence. His dissertation is titled "decentralized power systems: reference-frame theory and stability region generation." This research provides theoretical insights to analyze power quality issues in renewable generations, and innovative solutions to enhance the control stability of inverter-based systems in electric grids. These contributions provide the necessary foundations to transform the conventional power grids into a decentralised framework dominated by renewable generations. His research is supervised by Dr. James Kirtley at MIT and Dr. Jimmy Peng at NUS.

 

Opinion Letter in Today Newspaper 

Wednesday | 06 May 2020

 

We are becoming accustomed to the cyber domain, socialising with our families and friends by posting stories and photos on social media as well as sharing interesting articles from the Web. But to an adversary, our innocent action of forwarding a post may be weaponised to disrupt societal integrity. Specifically, the surge in disinformation regarding Covid-19 is concerning.

The full letter can be viewed here.

Cover Forum Letter in Straits Times Newspaper 

Saturday | 07 March 2020

 

Similar to the recent US democratic presidential candidates’ debate on climate change (19 Feb), Singaporean government is currently debating about our climate change budget for the next fiscal year. There are many engineering challenges in renewable integration, especially in controlling power inverters. Unfortunately, the general public is mostly unaware of these issues, and many believe the taxpayers’ dollars should be better spent on pressing matters, i.e. resolving the economic slowdown.

 

This letter was the cover article in the printed newspaper. The electronic version can be found here.

Best Paper Award at IEEE Conference

Wednesday | 27 November 2019

 

Our paper "A GaN-based High Step-Up Half-Bridge Resonant Converter for Interfacing PV modules to DC Data Centers" won the best paper award at the 2019 IEEE International Future Energy Electronics Conference, Singapore.

 

This work presents a comprehensive design of a half-bridge resonant converter for achieving soft-switching over a range of input and load conditions. The paper also presents a novel model for the dead-time behavior of the circuit, so as to achieve valley switching for any input voltage.

 

From Left: Jimmy Peng, and Gurupraanesh Raman

Won Multiple Awards at iGEM Competition 2019

Monday | 4 November 2019

 

This year, our iGEM team showcased their project, E.co LIVE, at the annual iGEM Giant Jamboree in Boston USA. iGEM is the world largest annual synthetic biology student competition, with over 340 teams participating from universities around the world. Apart from winning Gold mdeal, we won two special awards – Best Foundational Advance Project and Best Part Collection Awards. Furthermore, we were nominated for the Best Poster, Presentation, Wiki, Basic Part, Composite Part and Finalist awards. Our students have again surpass the results of the prevous year. Their achievements were also recognized by the Faculty of Engineering.

 

Summary of the results can be found at the iGEM website.

NUS iGEM Team, 31 October 2019

 

Cover Forum Letter in Straits Times Newspaper 

Friday | 22 February 2019

 

Singapore is currently rolling out an open electricity market. With many different pricing plans and gossips, choosing the right pricing plan has became ever more difficult for consumers. This article provides a simple and clear explanation to how retail electricity market works, and how consumers should game it. It was selected as the cover article in the Forum section. The link can be found here.

This letter was ranked Week's Top Letter #1 by the forum editor.

Presentation on Future Distribution Systems at MIT 

Tuesday | 24 October 2018

 

Our group presented the ongoing research on microgrid stability and consumer behavioral modeling to Professor Kirtley's group and Professor Stuart Madnick.

Awarded NRF Systemic Risk and Resilience Planning Grant 

Monday | 1 October 2018

 

We have been awarded $150,000 by the National Research Foundation (NRF) for a duration of one year. The research is entitled, "grid-customer integrated resilience assessment and enhancement for modern power systems."

 

A liberalized electric industry is a paradigm shift from utility-centric towards a customer-oriented environment. In such a scenario, demand-side parameters, including weather and customer behavior become non-electrical external influences that are coupled to the grid performance. The reliability of the power grid is therefore subject to not only the technical characteristics of installed devices, but also unconventional consumption patterns of the electricity consumers. Just as considerable amounts of power generation from rooftop solar plants risk the system stability, our preliminary consumer behavioral models predict that manipulating their behaviors would have significant detrimental effect on the system. However, at present, most researchers discount the effects of consumer behavior on the grid reliability.

 

Meanwhile, the concern of manipulating individual behavior through planned cyber-attacks is growing since the latest US election and the related Facebook scandal. We therefore ask the question of whether the grid stability and resilience could be influenced by a malicious entity attacking customer-driven services like demand response. Demand response is the shift of electricity consumption in response to financial incentives. To assess the impact of manipulating electricity consumption on the residential grid, we propose a high-resolution bottom-up behavioral model for the consumers' response to a demand response event. This model must be scalable, and comprehensively incorporate the response of participants to such factors as the monetary compensation offered by the utility, and their enthusiasm to participate in such programs. This planning grant would enable us to design and implement surveys to generate data that assist us to populate our consumer behavioral model. We would then be equipped to quantify the impact of an attack on a real-world distribution system, and propose to the utility countermeasures to prevent, detect and mitigate such attacks.

Visit from Association of Chartered Engineers of Iceland 

Tuesday | 25 September 2018

 

It was a pleasure to host power engineers from Iceland. Due to the geographical and demographical diversity, the challenges we faced in Singapore are significantly different to those in Iceland. The sharing of research and industrial experience was inspiring during the presentation and lab tour. However, the agenda on security and resilience is common among the two nations. Our research on integration of consumer behavioral into power system operation was well-received. After the hacking of Ukrainian distribution grid, it is important to acknowledge that the most vulnerable link in grid security is human. Stay tuned for our latest results in the coming months.

2018 Summer Interns

Friday | 20 July 2018

It was a pleasure working with our four undergraduate interns throughout this summer. Their projects contributed to the ongoing research in multi-microgrid control, and real-time operation of distribution systems. Wish them all the very best for the future!

From left: Praanesh, Daniel (UIUC, US), Sidhaarth (NIT Trichy, India), Jimmy, Raghav, Yihong (UIUC, US), and Malliga (NIT Trichy, India).

Completion of 2018 Final Year Projects 

Wednesday | 18 April 2018

Congrats to our seven final-year students in completing their final-year projects. They all did a great job, and survived the research marathon. In particular, Huixun published her experimental work at IECON 2018. It was a pleasure working with you all. I hope you all will cherish the bond forged with your colleagues later in life! 

From left: Desmond, Iman, Eugene, Siyue, Gabriel, and Hui Xun. Absent: Marcus

Kawsar Ali Appointed as Postdoc at Oxford University

Monday | 12 March 2018

Congratulation to Dr. Kawsar Ali for starting his new position as postdoctoral researcher at Oxford University. He will be working on electrical power conversion with Professor Dan Rogers at the Department of Engineering Science. Wish him all the best for his academic career. Dr. Kawar obtained his Ph.D. degree at NUS under the supervision of Dr. Jimmy Peng and Dr. Pritam Das. 

Adedayo Aeribole Accepted into MIT's Ph.D. Program

Thursday | 8 February 2018

Congratulation to Adedayo Aeribole for being accepted into the Ph.D. program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He will be working on HVAC systems with Professor Steven Leeb at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. This is an exciting opportunity, and we wish him all the very best. Adedayo previously completed his M.Sc. degree at Masdar Institute under the supervision of Dr. Jimmy Peng and Dr. Hatem Zeineldin. 

Collaborative Agreement with OETC

Tuesday | 14 July 2015

Today, we officially signed a data sharing agreement with Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) at Muscat, Oman. This strengthened the ongoing collaborative relationship between the two organisations. In the future, researchers from PEng Lab will visit OETC to collect PMU measurements as well as work with Eng. Mahmood Al Ismaili, senior manager of the Load Dispatch Center, and his engineers. Key research focuses are Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) applications, and characterising inter-area oscillations within the OETC systems. The aim is to improve the situational awareness in the control room through real-time updates of network dynamics. These outcomes will also facilitate a more secure and reliable power transmission within the future GCC Interconnection systems. 

From left: Dr. Jimmy Peng and Eng. Mahmood Al Ismaili

In the future, smart metering technologies such as PMUs will play a crucial transformational role in the control rooms of GCC utilities. The signed agreement allows PEng Lab to benchmark its prototype PMU performance with those installed by OETC. Future field testing of the prototype in OETC substation is under considerations. We seek to design the next generation PMU suitable for this region.

PEng Lab is the leading research group in PMU development and monitoring inter-area oscillations among GCC nations.

Joint Outreach Program with ABB

Sunday | 7 June 2015

Today, we signed an agreement with ABB substation automation team to showcase its PMU (RS670). The device provides dedicated synchorphasor monitoring function, and is designed for power transmission grids. It has been installed in PEng Lab at Masdar Institute, providng an addition to our existing PMU setup.

Together, with ABB, the aim is to demonstrate the benefits of utilising synchrophasor measurements to increase real-time situational awareness. Both students and industrial collaborators will be able to conduct tutorials and conformity tests using them. Meanwhile, RS670 will serve as a reference unit for testing the prototype PMU device PEng Lab is currently developing. We look forward the collaboration with ABB substation automation team in the coming future.

ABB Middle East Seminar Featuring PEng Lab

Tuesday | 19 May 2015

The workshop inspired many constructive discussions related to the development of PMU technology and potential WAMS benefits from our industrial and academic audience. Presented materials received positive feedback, and further supported the notion to commission more PMU related projects within TRANSCO and GCC Interconnection networks. A message emphasised by our fellow TRASNCO engineers. Similar to western utilities, increasing the situational awareness of power grids is crucial to sustain a healthy and reliability electricity trading markets. Emerging challenges for GCC utilities include optimising PMU locations, and establishing WAMS for tracking inter-area oscillations. These issues are currently being investigated by research conducted at PEng Lab. Together, with our local indutry partners, the future of PMUs and WAMS applications is promising in United Arab Emirates.

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