Around the world, the electricity transmission and distribution systems are aging and demand is increasing with the rapid economic development. Hence the existing asserts need to be upgraded or new assets need to be added. Further, due to environmental reasons, renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic system, solar thermal power plants, wind power plants and hydro power plants are being added increasingly to the transmission and distribution networks. This introduces a number of challenges such as voltage control and protection issues due to bi-directional power flow and demand-supply matching with renewable energy sources having varying output. It is anticipated that the combine applications of ICT and demand side approaches would provide solution to the emerging problems caused by the addition of renewable energy sources and increasing demand. Modernizing the power systems using ICT that enables renewable addition and demand side participation are now called Smart Grid.
At the Smart Grid laboratory of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, we are investigating the possible solutions for challenges encountered when combining of electricity systems and ICT. Undergraduate and postgraduate projects are conducted on developing Smart Grid test facility at the Department. Further research is being carried out to develop energy efficient products such as solar powered street lamps and traffic light systems which are leading to energy security.