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Electrical Power Systems Research

The EU integrated energy and climate change policy is concretized through the “20-20-20” targets for 2020:

  • Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 20 % compared to 1990 level
  • Make 20 % of energy come from renewable energy sources
  • Reduce energy consumption by 20 % through increased energy efficiency

This means using less fossil fuel and more renewable energy, but still using less energy in total. Electrical energy plays a key role in this and takes a more and more important role in society. It is therefore important to complement the three climate-related targets with the assurance of reliable electricity supply.
The power system research at IEA is aligned with these high level goals and key themes are

  • Power system integration of renewable electricity generation covers wind power integration on distribution and system levels, but also issues related to distributed (micro) generation such as photovoltaics.
  • Reliable power supply includes assuring personal safety through reliable fault clearing, managing stability limits and quantitatively assessing risks and vulnerabilities.

The research methods range from experimental analysis of laboratory-scale systems to computer simulations of detailed dynamic models of national power systems. This is complemented by field measurements from Phasor Measurements Units and other devices. The subject areas covered cover but are not limited to power systems analysis, electrical machines, power electronics, power system automation and risk management.

Automation for Integration of Renewables - AIR

Exploiting wind resources on land for electricity generation involves arranging appropriate network connection. Many favorable locations are however in quite remote areas with only weak existing network. This project aims to find the limits for how much wind power that can be cost-effectively connected to existing rural medium voltage networks hosting both generation and consumption. Key indicators are produced electric energy and electric losses while respecting voltage limits specified by business practice and international standards.
While control of wind turbine generator reactive power output is a non-controversial measure, also controlled curtailment of active power output is employed. This makes it possible to increase the installed capacity while still being able to avoid overvoltage should high production and low consumption coincide in time. The control of wind turbine generators and other devices affecting voltage makes use of voltage signals that can be realistically provided by new electricity meters. The use of automation to increase the capacity of existing networks is a typical example of Smart Grid technology.
Sponsor: E.ON Elnät AB
Project duration: 2011-2013

ICT-platform for sustainable infrastructures – ICT-psi

Rapidly maturing sensor networking technology and the emergence of national high-speed wireless communication backbones allow real-time information from an unprecedented number of sources. Advances in actuation technology include HVDC links and the new electricity meters installed at all customers in Sweden and many other countries. These resources enable new schemes for improving power system stability that reduce the risk of blackouts despite the challenges caused by increasingly changing power flows due to wind power and electricity market transactions. The schemes will be based on advanced modeling, simulation and control. A key component in the project is the ARISTO real-time simulator at IEA, which will be used as demonstrator to illustrate the results.
Sponsor: Stiftelsen för strategisk forskning (Foundation for strategic research)
Project duration: 2011-2016
Partners: Automatic control (LTH), Automatic control (KTH)


The iPower platform aims at contributing to the scenario that 50 % of the electricity production in Denmark will be wind power in 2025. This is done by developing an intelligent and flexible energy system that can manage variable electricity production. The focus is the change from consumption-controlled electricity production to production-controlled electricity consumption. This includes developing control of demand and distributed generation, tools for control of millions of flexible demand units and methods for operation of distribution networks with flexible generation. Needs and acceptance of users regarding flexible demand will be tested in practice. Business cases for key actors in the future energy system will be developed based on the platform results. The iPower partners together have the capacity to develop and demonstrate solutions that cover all aspects of new energy systems with flexible demand.
Sponsor: Det strategiske forskningsråd (The Danish Council for Strategic Research)
Project duration: 2011-2016
Partners: 35 partners including Risø-DTU, DTU-CET, DTI, DONG Energy, Vestas A/S, IBM Danmark ApS, DTU Management, AAU, Danfoss A/S, DTU-IMM, Grundfos A/S, Danish Energy Association.
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Offshore power systems based on interconnectors

The development of offshore wind energy is entering a deployment phase combining very large plants greater than 1000 MW with new international offshore transmission. The new transmission systems will most likely be multi-terminal HVDC type where complexity increases with the number of onshore connection points and offshore wind power plants. Depending on the operating strategy, these offshore power systems may be designed to locally stabilize the connected national power systems through advanced operation and control methods where connected wind power plants are able to automatically provide ancillary services.
The aim of the project is to develop methods to economically optimize a design based on different operating strategies and secondly to develop algorithms for distributed control and coordination, where the degree of automated functions in both normal and disturbed operation should be investigated.
Sponsor: Elektra program of Elforsk AB
Project duration: 2010-2013

Power system integration of non-synchronous generation

Much of the design and operation of the existing electric power systems is based on the synchronous generators of conventional steam and hydro power plants. Modern wind turbine generators on the other hand connect to the electricity network through power electronic converters, which have a different impact on the power system. Introducing a large amount of such non-synchronous generation displaces synchronous generators and may change the behavior of the power system. Key aspects studied in this project are frequency dynamics (one PhD student) and fault currents and fault clearing (one PhD student).
Sponsor: Elektra program of Elforsk AB
Project duration: 2009-2012

Program for Risk and Vulnerability Analysis Development - PRIVAD

The overarching goal of the project is to develop methods and tools for risk and vulnerability analysis at all levels of society in order to better predict, prevent and manage all types of risks in society. The research program is organized in four interacting clusters successfully employed 2004-2011 in the previous project FRIVA. The areas targeted by the clusters are

  • Risk and vulnerability in a horizontal and vertical perspective of society
  • Risk and vulnerability analysis for dependent critical infrastructures
  • Developing societal resilience through multi-organizational preparations
  • IT systems in crisis management.

The IEA involvement is focused on dependent critical infrastructures, where the electricity supply system is a key part but which also include railway systems and water systems.
Sponsor: Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap (Swedish civil contingencies agency)
Project duration: 2011-2015
Partners: Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety (LTH), Computer Science (LTH)

Slide-in hybrid electric vehicles

A slide-in hybrid electric vehicle is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that can “slide-in” to an electricity supply system integrated in the road and charge continuously. Electrifying highways and major roads (similar to electrification of the railway) makes it possible to extend the advantages of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV-s) technology also to long-distance heavy vehicles such as trucks, without extreme amounts of on-board energy storage. The concept has the potential to eliminate the direct use of fuels for all road transports entirely and replace them with electricity – possibly from renewable energy sources.
Sponsor: Energimyndigheten (Swedish Energy Agency)
Project duration: 2011-2012
Partners: Volvo AB

Solar energy in urban planning

The objective of this research program is to advance knowledge related to solar energy in urban planning. For a successful implementation of solar technologies in urban areas there is a need for research. This research program covers a number of key research questions

  • the potential of solar energy in the urban areas with possibilities and limitations
  • the integration of solar technology into the built environment in an architectural and aesthetic way
  • the integration of solar technology in the existing energy systems, i.e. the district heating system and the electricity grid
  • support structures for the development of the solar innovation system and its operation covering aspects such as knowledge development, networking between different actors, forms for financing, alternative business models, processes and measures for governance.

The program is performed with practitioners such as cities and companies and will develop in close collaboration with demonstration projects in urban development projects of Västra Hamnen (Malmö), Rosengård (Malmö), Brunnshög (Lund) and H+ (Helsingborg). The IEA contribution is mainly on integration of solar technology with the electricity grid.
Sponsor: Forskningsrådet FORMAS (The Swedish Research Council Formas)
Project duration: 2010-2013
Partners: Lund University International Institute of Industrical Environmental Engineering, Energy and Building Design (LTH)

Wind in Öresund

The overall goal of the project is to strengthen the position and potential of the Öresund region in wind energy. This is done by combining the competencies of the technical universities – Danish Technical University including Risø and the Faculty of Engineering, LTH at Lund University. The three cornerstones of the project are

  • classical electric power engineering applied to wind energy,
  • modeling and simulations and
  • information technology for improving economy and reliability.

The emphasis is on supplying the appropriate competence to develop the wind energy sector. Key activities are to develop courses at the technical universities, market the competencies already present in the region and to promote co-operation between the involved partner institutions which may make use of extensive experimental facilities including PowerLabDK.
Sponsor: EU Interreg
Project duration: 2008-2011
Partners: Mathematical statistics (LTH), Informatics and Mathematical Modeling (DTU), Center for Electric Technology (DTU), Risø National laboratory for sustainable energy (DTU)
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