We work closely with the industry. Here are some of our projects listed by the start year. Many of them are still ongoing.
Model-Free Operating Envelopes at NMI Level
This project will provide the technical foundations for distribution companies to carry out voltage calculations without employing electrical models of low voltage (LV) circuits but, instead, exploiting primarily historical smart meter data. These model-free calculations can be used to estimate the maximum power exports or imports of individual customers (also known as operating envelopes) as well as to assess the impacts (or hosting capacity) of residential solar PV or electric vehicles.
Australian Research Plan for the G-PST Topic 4 and Topic 8
These two projects, for Topics 4 and 8, produced research plans for the next 10 years for Australia in the areas of Planning and Distributed Energy Resources, respectively.
Deployable Adaptive Smart Grid (DASG) 2
This project investigates the benefits and most suitable control strategies of smart grid technologies to help Defence improve the reliability, fuel efficiency, and logistical aspects associated with the electrical infrastructure of their deployed forces.
This project brings together the spectrum of stakeholders across the electricity value chain: customers, Distributed Energy Resource (DER) owners, aggregators, distributors, the system/market operator and researchers. Several innovations will be demonstrated through trials that will test these operating envelopes and the trading of local services.
This project explores customer acceptance and expectations around electric vehicles (EVs), distribution network impacts from unmanaged EVs, distribution network integration of EVs using active management strategies, and techno-economic network and system integration of EVs.
Advanced Planning of PV-Rich Distribution Networks
This project investigated how distribution companies can make the most of their networks to facilitate high penetrations of residential solar PV. We provided a series of planning recommendations to help distribution companies in Australia, and internationally, take adequate planning actions in a cost-effective and practical manner.
Deployable Adaptive Smart Grid (DASG) 1
This short project produced the initial studies to determine the potential benefits that smart grid technologies could bring to Defence in terms of reliability, fuel consumption, and deployment size and weight.
Solutions for Increasing PV Hosting Capacity
A project funded by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI, USA)
From Mar 2018 to Mar 2019, Prof Ochoa led collaborations with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI, USA) to help EPRI develop advanced distribution planning tools that can assess the performance of different PV-based integration solutions. The outcomes of the project “Assessment of Integration Solution Methods for Increasing PV Hosting Capacity” are helping distribution companies to quickly determine the most cost-effective, integration solutions for high penetrations of medium-scale PV systems across large network areas and, hence, increase the corresponding hosting capacity.
Energy Policy Case Study
In 2017, the Melbourne Energy Institute was engaged by the Finkel Review to perform security assessment studies for future energy scenarios of the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM). The outcomes of the research work, led by Prof Mancarella, were published in the report Power System Security Assessment of the Future National Electricity Markets. The report discussed fundamental principles of secure operation of low-inertia power systems and demonstrated the use of frequency response security-constrained optimal power flow tools and their potential application to energy markets in a system dominated by renewable energy sources and low-carbon technologies that are asynchronously connected to the system.
Solar PV impacts in Australian HV and LV networks
Projects funded by AusNet Services
In 2017, collaborations started with the Victorian distribution company, AusNet Services, looking at the impacts of widespread residential solar PV as well as potential solutions. From 2017 to 2018, Prof Ochoa led the projects “HV-LV Analysis of Mini Grids Clusters” and “Solar PV Penetration and HV-LV Network Impacts”. These projects produced key insights on the requirements for detailed HV and LV network studies.
Port Lincoln Virtual Power Plant
In 2017, Prof Mancarella was engaged by Hydrogen Utility (H2U) to carry out techno-economic modelling and demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of the first hydrogen-based multi-commodity virtual power plant at Port Lincoln in South Australia. The project takes place in a network-constrained area with high potential penetration of solar and wind energy resources whereby electrolyzers will be used to produce hydrogen and ammonia for multiple purposes, including active network management, energy storage, export of zero-carbon fuels, supply of zero-carbon refuelling stations, fast frequency response, and frequency control and system restart ancillary services.