Skip to main content

Centralised Protection and Control (CPC) within a Power Substation to Enhance the Electricity Grid’s Resilience

PGR-P-1476

Key facts

Type of research degree
PhD
Application deadline
Tuesday 31 January 2023
Project start date
Tuesday 1 August 2023
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Funding
Funded
Source of funding
University of Leeds
Supervisors
Dr Sadegh Azizi and Dr Li X Zhang
Schools
School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Research groups/institutes
Institute of Communication and Power Networks
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Centralized protection and control system (CPC) is a new concept which is considered to be the path forward for addressing the foregoing challenges at substation levels. A CPC system is comprised of a high-performance computing platform within a substation capable of providing secure protection, control, monitoring, communication, and asset management functions by collecting the data those functions require using high-speed, time-synchronized measurements. Existing technologies have gained enough maturity to support the deployment of CPC, as demonstrated by some pilot projects. These novel technologies can significantly improve substation control/protection functions (and consequently that of the power grid) at an affordable cost with enhanced capability and maintainability. This project is aimed at introducing a methodology for CPC by, first, scoping the extent, quality and volume of information needed from IEDs to be shared with a central computing unit. A framework will then be defined for CPC as to how to process the information gathered to extract the substation topology and perform dynamic state estimation (DSE) at the substation level (which is a new perspective). Substation-oriented DSE is employed to minimize the impact of measurement errors by leveraging the redundant information collected from the corresponding protection/control zones. This helps distinguish erroneous measurements from anomalies that must be instantaneously dealt with by proper remedial actions. The project progresses the substation automation field in terms of (a) Speed (operating on sample values) and detecting abnormalities within a few samples, (b) Detection accuracy, and (c) Removing the need for coordination between disjointed protection/control functions.<br /> <br /> This PhD project will realise CPC based upon substation-oriented DSE, which has great potential to transform how we operate substations. This will be achieved by defining focus areas to integrate the protection/control of disjointed zones and apparatus into a centralized unit. The developed framework ensures the capability of self-diagnostics, detection of hidden failures, and sufficient resilience against high-impact events. Hypothesis testing will be based on residual-based indices developed in and aimed at formulating the allowable communication latencies and operation boundaries that minimize the risk of system collapse.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>Power systems are being transformed into smarter grids to accommodate a high penetration of renewables and demonstrate utmost resilience following low-probability high-impact events. Considering the emerging characteristics of inverter-based sources, it is necessary to take advantage of available technologies in protection and control paradigms to promote new concepts fortifying grid safety and resilience. Contributing factors to protection/control systems&rsquo; failures and consequent blackouts are:</p> <p>(a) Increasing complexity and interactions between different components of expanding substations,</p> <p>(b) Reliance of designs on limited information, thus vulnerability to communication latencies,</p> <p>(c) Lack of coordination amongst sophisticated control/protection functions,</p> <p>(d) Inability to survive when subjected to instrumentation failures or cyber-security attacks.</p> <p>Centralized protection and control system (CPC) is a new concept which is considered to be the path forward for addressing the foregoing challenges at substation levels. A CPC system is comprised of a high-performance computing platform within a substation capable of providing secure protection, control, monitoring, communication, and asset management functions by collecting the data those functions require using high-speed, time-synchronized measurements. Existing technologies have gained enough maturity to support the deployment of CPC, as demonstrated by some pilot projects. These novel technologies can significantly improve substation control/protection functions (and consequently that of the power grid) at an affordable cost with enhanced capability and maintainability. This project is aimed at introducing a methodology for CPC by, first, scoping the extent, quality and volume of information needed from IEDs to be shared with a central computing unit. A framework will then be defined for CPC as to how to process the information gathered to extract the substation topology and perform dynamic state estimation (DSE) at the substation level (which is a new perspective). Substation-oriented DSE is employed to minimize the impact of measurement errors by leveraging the redundant information collected from the corresponding protection/control zones. This helps distinguish erroneous measurements from anomalies that must be instantaneously dealt with by proper remedial actions. The project progresses the substation automation field in terms of (a) Speed (operating on sample values) and detecting abnormalities within a few samples, (b) Detection accuracy, and (c) Removing the need for coordination between disjointed protection/control functions.</p> <p>This PhD project will realise CPC based upon substation-oriented DSE, which has great potential to transform how we operate substations. This will be achieved by defining focus areas to integrate the protection/control of disjointed zones and apparatus into a centralized unit. The developed framework ensures the capability of self-diagnostics, detection of hidden failures, and sufficient resilience against high-impact events. Hypothesis testing will be based on residual-based indices developed in and aimed at formulating the allowable communication latencies and operation boundaries that minimize the risk of system collapse.</p> <p>The core research questions to be addressed are:</p> <p>1- What is the most efficient way to simultaneously find the disturbance that has occurred (the proper system of equations amongst many candidates) within a circuit and the pertinent unknowns to calculate?</p> <p>2- What are the necessary and sufficient conditions on the measurements to enable 1 in dynamic conditions?</p> <p>This project aims at finding the answers to the above questions, considering the possibility of the inclusion of bad data in the measurement set (coming from faulty sensors, corrupted data or malicious attacks). Any anomalies (including faults and outages) at the substation and on incoming lines are considered possible disturbances that need to be identified and treated as fast and accurately as possible.</p> <p><strong>You can start your PhD from 1 August 2023 but must be able to start your PhD by no later than 1 November 2023.</strong></p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.leeds.ac.uk/research-applying/doc/applying-research-degrees">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for PHD Electronic &amp; Electrical Engineering FT and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Centralised Protection and Control (CPC) within a Power Substation to Enhance the Electricity Grid&rsquo;s Resilience</strong></em> as well as&nbsp;<a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/faculty-engineering-physical-sciences/staff/1784/dr-sadegh-azizi">Dr Sadegh Azizi </a>as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents in support of your application by the closing date of 31 January 2023:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> <li>Funding information including any alternative sources of funding that you are applying for or if you are able to pay your own fees and maintenance</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p class="MsoNoSpacing">A highly competitive School of Electronic &amp; Electrical Engineering Studentship consisting of the award of fees at the UK fee rate of &pound;4,596 or Non-UK fee rate of &pound;25,500 (currently for academic session 2022/23) together with a maintenance grant (currently &pound;17,668 for session 2022/23) for 3.5 years.</p> <p>This opportunity is open to all applicants. All candidates will be placed into the School of Electronic &amp; Electrical Engineering Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.<br /> <br /> <strong>Important:&nbsp;</strong> Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are <strong>not</strong> covered under this studentship.</p> <p>Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about the project, please contact the primary supervisor:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:EMAIL@leeds.ac.uk">s.azizi@leeds.ac.uk</a>.</p> <p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions: e:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk">phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk</a></p>


<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>
<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>