Some of our ongoing and past projects:
This multi-disciplinary project involves Prof Mancarella, Prof Ochoa and colleagues from the Department of Infrastructure Engineering as well as multiple Australian DNSPs. The project will explore, with a range of both network-related and consumer-related research methodologies and tools, 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 started in 2019 and is led by Prof Ochoa. It will develop analytical techniques to assess residential solar PV hosting capacity of electricity distribution networks by leveraging existing network and smart meter data. This project will also produce planning recommendations to increase solar PV hosting capacity using non-traditional solutions that exploit the capabilities of PV inverters, voltage regulation devices, and battery energy storage systems.
Deployable adaptive smart grids
This short project carried out in 2019 and led by Prof Ochoa 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 collaboration with Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI, USA)
In 2018, led by Prof Ochoa, collaborations started 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”, finished in 2019, will help distribution network operators 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
A collaboration with AusNet Services
In 2016, collaborations started with the Australian Distribution Network Service Provider, AusNet Services, looking at the impacts of widespread residential solar PV as well as potential solutions. To date, Prof Ochoa has led the projects “HV-LV Analysis of Mini Grids Clusters” and “Solar PV Penetration and HV-LV Network Impacts”. These projects have already produced key insights on the requirements for detailed HV and LV network studies.
Port Lincoln Virtual Power Plant
Prof Mancarella has been 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.