Edward Smith is indoors, standing in front of plants with his arms folded

APQRC Welcomes PhD Candidate Edward Smith to the team

APQRC Welcomes PhD Candidate Edward Smith to the team

The Australian Power Quality & Reliability Centre (APQRC) is pleased to welcome Edward Smith to our team. Edward is an electrical engineering graduate from the University of Sydney, completing his PhD at the APQRC under supervisors Associate Professors Duane Robinson and Ashish Agalgaonkar.

Edward’s PhD research focuses on cooperative control strategies for management of power quality problems in microgrids. Microgrids (a small subset of an electricity grid that provides energy storage and generation at a local level) are increasingly seen as an important enabling concept for future electricity grid architectures. The characteristics of modern microgrids include a dependence on inverter-based resources, and a capability for autonomous operation from the main grid, which while seen as a key advantage, raises technical issues with respect to power quality that are still being actively researched.  At the same time, microgrid control architectures are evolving from centralised to decentralised structures.

Taking inspiration from recent developments in advanced automation theory, Edward’s research investigates the scope for cooperative control to improve power quality in microgrids and demonstrates several novel applications. Multi-agent systems are one focus area of Edward’s research, as these have not been applied to the full range of power quality problems experienced in modern microgrids.  Since the future of grid automation will be transformed by the emerging industrial internet of things (IoT), Edward’s research is timely and of practical significance.

More broadly, Edward’s research interests surround microgrids, power conversion, distributed control, and multi-agent systems.  He is particularly interested in how data-based learning methods coupled with cooperative control techniques can be used to improve power quality for microgrids, in a practical sense.  Future electricity grids are cyber-physical systems which depend on both energy and information exchange.  The objective of Edward’s research is a deeper understanding of the nexus between power quality and information exchange.

The work carried out at the APQRC strongly aligns with Edward’s research interests and previous industrial experience, but more importantly offers the possibility of professional development. In joining the APQRC, Edward is excited to get involved with industry leading research and development, as well as opportunities for collaboration and networking with other researchers and institutions.

Edward is currently working on a research project in collaboration with Shoalhaven Water and the ARC Research Hub for Safe and Reliable Energy. The project is investigating the safe and reliable use of battery energy storage systems deployed in distributed infrastructure applications, in this case small-scale Sewage Pumping Stations in the Catchment of Shoalhaven Heads, NSW.  A field trial at up to 10 sites will be used to evaluate the performance and resilience of various existing and emerging technologies, with active involvement of students and graduates in several research projects.

We look forward to future endeavours with Edward and are delighted to have him as part of our team.