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UBC Electric Power and Energy Systems Group


Real Time Power System Simulation

Power systems have evolved constantly in the past few decades while relying more on more sensitive loads, power electronics based equipment, renewable energy forms, along with deregulated environments for energy commercialization. Therefore, the power systems dynamic behavior had also considerably changed. 

The Electric Power and Energy Systems Group at The University of British Columbia develops models and software for the analysis of electromagnetic transients in power systems and power electronic circuits Professor Dr. H.W. Dommel is the creator of the first version of the widely known Electromagnetic Transients Program (EMTP). He developed, together with Professor Dr. J. Martí and Dr. L. Martí, the UBC version of the EMTP which today is known as Microtran.

Dr. Martí's Research Group is a world leader in the development of models and solution techniques for fast transient circuit solutions of large systems, particularly, in connection with the EMTP. His group has extended the basic EMTP solution techniques to adopt them to very fast Real-Time simulation. UBC is developing a Power System Simulator, OVNI, that uses a matched software (MATE algorithm) and hardware architecture (Pentium-class PC-Cluster) to achieve very fast performance for systems of virtually unlimited size.  The OVNI development is aimed at simulating, in real-time, the operation and control of large power system networks (OVNI-NET).

Infrastructure Security (JIIRP)

The JIIRP project is an effort to secure Canada’s infrastructure from the threats and vulnerabilities that have increased due to its evolving complexity and interconnectedness. Joint Infrastructure Interdependencies Research Program (JIIRP) which is jointly funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC).

UBC’s I2C (Infrastructures Interdependencies Coordination) multidisciplinary research team is the largest one among six other Canadian groups working in the project. Dr. Jose Marti is the project leader for the I2C team.

The Six research groups from Canadian Universities part of ongoing national efforts to secure and protect Canada's critical infrastructure are:

    • Jose Martí, University of British Columbia, Decision making for critical linkages in infrastructure networks ($1,020,000)
    • Vincent Tao, York University, Model interdependencies for emergency management using geographic decision support systems ($586,500)
    • Wenjum Zhang, University of Saskatchewan, Develop models that simulate critical infrastructure networks ($462,048)
    • Benoit Robert, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Study interdependencies and domino effects in life-supporting networks ($347,250)
    • Tamer El-Diraby, University of Toronto, Model of infrastructure interdependencies through an analysis of stakeholder needs, risks, and competencies ($310,000)
    • Edward McBean, University of Guelph, Ways to improve resilience of water infrastructure and health response systems against waterborne diseases ($256,000)

The projects have also received some $650,000 in additional financial support and $1 million in-kind assistance from a diverse group of private- and public-sector partners, such as municipalities, industrial associations, infrastructure operators and corporations.

Rotating Machine Modeling

The Power Group works on average-value modeling of synchronous machine –rectifier systems, brushless dc motor 120 degree inverter system as well as other power electronic-based systems.  Average-value models of power-electronic-based systems have the advantage that they are continuous, and thus obtaining a local transfer-function and frequency-domain characteristic. They also have the advantage that they execute orders of magnitude faster than detailed models, making them ideal for representing the respective components in system-level studies. The average-value models may be useful in small and large-displacement stability analysis as well as in the design of controllers for power electronic-based systems. 

Distributed Generation

Another option to upgrading expensive large centralized electrical power systems is smaller decentralized (distributed) generation facilities. Recent power generation and control technology innovations such as enhancements to solar cells, fuel cells, wind turbines, gas turbines and micro turbines have made decentralized generation a considerable alternative for either delaying large electrical infrastructure upgrades or as additional co-generation support. UBC Power Group is studying the effects distributed generation will have on the the utility system. 

Power Electronics

Solar energy study

To significantly increase the potential application of photovoltaic (solar electric) systems as a practical, sustainable, energy option, this study has focused on the control and power interfaces better suited for employment in photovoltaic power systems. The main objective is to find an effective control algorithm and topology better suited for extracting the maximum possible power from the photovoltaic modules. The research consists of the following major subjects: photovoltaic modeling, topology study of photovoltaic interfaces, regulation of photovoltaic voltage, and maximum power tracking.

Motor control with an IGBT inverter

The Application of IGBT in motor control has increased tremendously recently. With advantages of low switch loss and increasing switching frequency, IGBT is widely used in motor control and UPS system. The DSP controller-based IGBT inverter motor controllers are applied in motor speed control and motor position control, which are practically used by a hybrid vehicle motor speed control  and theater stage position control. 



Last reviewed 01-Jan-2009

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