UCD engineer receives €1.7m SFI grant to improve efficiency of national grid

Posted May 10, 2016

  • To increase security and stability of power systems
  • To increase integration of renewable energy sources

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has provided funding of €1.7 million to Professor Federico Milano, UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University College Dublin, for research aimed at increasing the efficiency of the national grid.

The Advanced Modelling for Power System Analysis and Simulation (AMPSAS) project will focus on developing novel analytical and computational tools.

Pictured top: a real-time monitoring screen in an EirGrid control room.

These will be used to understand, efficiently design and optimise rapidly changing modern power systems and smart grids through model-based approaches.

The models will also aim to improve the security of power systems and the exploitation of available energy resources.

EirGrid, the Irish national power system operator will support the project by providing technical advice and data.

The project supports one of the goals of the European Union’s €80 billion Horizon 2020 programme. Horizon 2020 is part of the Innovation Union programme to secure Europe’s global competitiveness.

Pictured right: Prof Federico Milano, UCD School of Electrical
and Electronic Engineering.

According to Horizon 2020, “The EU power network should be capable of integrating a large share of renewables (more than 50% by 2030, in particular variable energy sources, up to 90% variable by 2050), in a stable and secure way.”

Improved models that can be used across the energy industry will be another outcome of the research. Many current industry-standard models were designed in the 1980s and 1990s and are becoming outdated in a rapidly changing environment.

EirGrid’s participation in AMPSAS demonstrates the importance of the project to national energy suppliers.

The funding will also support six PhD students and two post-doctoral researchers who will work on the project.

One of Professor Milano’s previous projects involved creating a complex algorithm that optimised the charge of electric vehicles and power supply of distributed energy sources. It is currently used by Renault.

Science Foundation Ireland is the national foundation in scientific and engineering research. SFI invests in academic researchers and teams who are most likely to generate new knowledge, leading edge technologies and competitive enterprises in science, technology, engineering and maths.

By: Jonny Baxter, digital journalist, UCD University Relations