SBRC Team standing outside the SBRC Building

Looking Back at 2022: APQRC

Looking Back at 2022: APQRC

What a year it has been. Looking back at our achievements over the past 12 months, we are proud of the progress we've made towards better understanding and improving power quality, reliability, and renewable energy in Australia. Our most notable highlights are outlined below.

Introduction to PQ Electrical Supply Training Course, 9-10 March 2022

The two-day professional development course in power engineering presented by the Australian Power Quality and Reliability Centre (APQRC) ran on 9-10 March 2022. It provided attendees with a systematic understanding of various power quality disturbances and the types of load affected, knowledge of Australian standards and how network operators and customers can improve their power quality performance, and the ability to distinguish different types of available power quality monitoring equipment and their applications.

Substation Design Training Course, 6-7 April 2022

Presented by the APQRC, this course was designed to assist organisations in the training of new and existing staff in the fundamentals of substation design. Over two days on 6-7 April 2022, twelve participants gained an overview of the substation design process, including the key components of substation design.

CIDER Convention, 10-11 May 2022

Australian Power Quality and Reliability Centre (APQRC) Research Coordinator, Sean Elphick and Research Fellow, Jason David attended the 4th iteration of the Conference on the Integration of Distributed Energy Resources (CIDER) in May this year. The two-day conference was held on May 10 - 11 in Adelaide, South Australia and consisted of delegates and presentations from across the electricity supply industry. CIDER has a particular focus on distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar PV, residential batteries and renewable energy throughout the Australian electricity network.

Sean delivered a presentation that reviewed the impact that the massive uptake of roof-top solar has had on power quality levels in recent years (‘The impact of distributed generation on power quality in low voltage networks’). Whilst Jason presented an overview of a recently published APQRC report - Voltage Control and PV Hosting Capacity of Distribution Networks, investigating the latest processes and technology to identify and improve the capability of networks to integrate high levels of rooftop PV solar.

Integration of Renewable Distributed & Generation Training Course, 1-2 June 2022

This two-day professional development course was designed to assist managers, utility specialists and technical staff who wish to advise customers on renewable energy integration or who provide services to large clients. The APQRC hosted twelve attendees, who gained knowledge and skills in aspects of network design, construction and maintenance techniques for maximising renewable energy penetration.

Application of the NER for connection of RE Training Course, 29-30 June 2022

Designed for managers, utility specialists and technical staff, this continuing professional development course covered topics related to the application of the NER and AEMO system strength impact assessments, including modelling techniques, required for the connection of renewable energy generators. The APQRC welcomed twenty-seven participants, in what was a very successful training course.

Advanced Quality of Electrical Supply Training Course, 24-25 August 2022

Presented by the APQRC, this professional development course was designed for utility specialists, consultants, engineers, and senior technical staff who wish to advise customers on power quality concerns, or who service large customers or who wish to understand aspects of network design, construction and maintenance techniques for maximising quality of supply. Seventeen participants learned advanced analysis techniques and methods of improving power quality by both network and plant modifications. They also had the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills through discussion and laboratory sessions.

Jason David, APQRC Research Fellow wins AUPEC award for Best Paper, 26-28 September 2022

Jason David, Research Fellow at the Australian Power Quality and Reliability Centre (APQRC), was awarded best paper at the Australian Universities Power Engineering Conference (AUPEC), which took place at the University of Adelaide, September 26 - 28, 2022. His paper, Management of Harmonic Distortion for Large Renewable Energy Generation (REG), is a high-level review of a project undertaken by the APQRC in early 2022, co-authored by Sean Elphick and Duane Robinson, Research Coordinator and Technical Director for APQRC, respectively.

When asked how he felt about this achievement, Jason stated, "It is an honour to have my research recognised at AUPEC and hope that the findings lead to positive change throughout the industry".

We congratulate Jason on this fantastic achievement.

DELWP Scholarship-Funded Research Project, October 2022

The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is funding a scholarship for the Australian Power Quality & Reliability Centre (APQRC) to assess the impact of supply voltage magnitude on consumer appliance lifespan. The project, with a total value of $192,500 will be undertaken in collaboration with the DELWP.

The APQRC looks forward to conducting a technical assessment of a selection of appliances, covering all major load types, including audio-visual, information technology, refrigeration, lighting, motor, PV inverter and heating and cooling loads. The project will be undertaken by a team of APQRC researchers alongside a DELWP representative.

EECON Conference, 11-12 October 2022

The APQRC was represented by Sean Elphick, Research Coordinator and Jason David, Research Fellow at the Electric Energy Society of Australia (EESA) annual conference, EECON, 2022 held in Brisbane on 11th – 12th of October 2022.

EECON 2022 delivered a diverse range of informative and interesting speakers on topics such as:

  • Rapid transformation of Australia’s electricity systems
  • Involving significant investment in renewable generation
  • Storage and firming generation
  • The early exit of coal fired generation plants bringing changes to the transmission and distribution systems.

Sean and Jason delivered well-received papers on distributed energy resources: power quality impacts and implications and Harmonic management in networks with high penetration of renewable energy generators respectively.

Battery Energy Training Course, 12-13 October 2022

This professional development course focused on battery energy storage applications. The APQRC presented the course to fifteen attendees, who gained a better understanding of the operation and capabilities of battery energy storage systems, their advantages, and disadvantages and how they can best be integrated into the electricity networks of the future.

APQRC ARENA Online Workshop, 26 October 2022

On the 26th of October, the Australian Power Quality and Reliability Centre (APQRC) hosted an online workshop, to present the final outcomes of the Investigation of the Impact and Management of Harmonic Distortion for Large Renewable Generators project which was supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) along with 8 industry partners. The workshop was a huge success, with over 125 attendees. Guests heard from APQRC speakers Jason David, Research Fellow, Sean Elphick, Research Coordinator, and Duane Robinson, Director about harmonic distortion in power systems.

The full video of our workshop is available online: Watch ARENA Workshop recording.

The Application of Australian Standards for Management of Harmonics, Unbalance and Flicker Training Course, 2-4 November 2022

The APQRC hosted a continuing professional development course at the University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus. The course ran face-to-face between 2nd November and 3rd of November 2022, with an optional third day on the 4th of November 2022. The APQRC accommodated six participants, who were hosted by APQRC speakers Jason David (Research Fellow), Vic Gosbell (Emeritus Professor) and Sarath Perera (Honorary Professorial Fellow). Overall, the course was a success, and the APQRC was delighted to assist participants with their professional development.

Global Innovation Linkages Workshop, 11 November 2022

APQRC Director, Duane Robinson and Research Coordinator, Sean Elphick were joined by PhD students Imanka Ranmanna Dewayalage and Kasun Peiris at the Global Linkages Workshop 2022. The workshop was held in Hobart on 10-11 November, 2022.

The APQRC team presented an update on our 4-Year project titled Power Quality of Future Electricity Networks. Penetration levels of new energy sources including solar, and wind are on the rise in electricity grids across the world. These sources are connected to the grid through power electronics-based interfaces leading to new challenges surrounding the generation of unwanted harmonics. These harmonics can impact the grid and have become a concern to all stakeholders as their levels have to be managed below stipulated limits to ensure power system security. The project addresses these concerns and involves the measurement and assessment of harmonics and their impact on connected equipment. Such projects are crucial where there are deficiencies in the existing technologies and knowledge.

On Day 1, PhD Student Kasun Peiris presented an update on the progress of their UOW work package, which involves measurement and characterisation of the harmonic emission from renewable energy generators. On Day 2, we attended a technical tour to Cattle Hill Windfarm.

Fundamentals of Distributed ER Training Course, 22 November 2022

On the 22nd of November, the Australian Power Quality and Reliability Centre (APQRC) hosted our final course of the year. The Fundamentals of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) was a continuing and professional development course suitable for those requiring an appreciation of the implications of increasing levels of DER without the need for a detailed understanding. The course was delivered online to twelve attendees.

On completion of the course delegates gained knowledge allowing them to identify the main components of DER systems; understand the penetration levels of the main DER technologies and future trajectories; and identify the positive and negative impacts of DER on the operation of the electricity supply system among other topics.

Shoalhaven Water Sewer Pumpstation Battery Energy Storage System Project Collaboration, December 2022

Shoalhaven Water and the Australian Power Quality and Reliability Centre () at the University of Wollongong are teaming up to design battery backup systems aimed to improve electricity resilience for sewer pumping stations. The Sewer Pumpstation Battery Energy Storage System project, organised through the SafeREnergy Hub, an Australian Research Council funded project, involves installing and evaluating up to ten battery energy storage systems at Sewer Pumpstations in the Shoalhaven Heads sewer catchment. APQRC Director Duane Robinson (Associate Professor), Research Coordinator Sean Elphick, and Research Fellow Edward Smith are among the team collaborating on this project.

Projects such as these contribute to the APQRC’s outcomes of supporting research and education in power quality, reliability and renewable energy systems. We are thrilled to be working with Shoalhaven Water and look forward to collaborating with them on this project.

Commercial Research Impact Showcase, 1 December 2022

On the 1st of December, the APQRC was represented by our Director, Associate Professor Duane Robinson at the University of Wollongong’s Innovation and Commercial Research Unit (ICRU)Showcase 2022. The event, hosted by UOW’s Dr Paul Di Pietro, Dean of Research Knowledge Exchange and Translation (DRKET), celebrated the outstanding contributions of UOW researchers to industries and communities through research collaborations.

Duane appeared in Panel 1, which focused on the Pathfinder Program Showcase. He discussed the APQRC’s Power Quality Compliance Audit, which has been operating since 2002, and involves collaboration with most electricity network providers (NSPs) in Australia. The project has leveraged significant volumes of research and collaboration for the APQRC.

We thank Duane for representing the APQRC to express one of the many ways we collaborate with industry to generate real-world impact.

We would like to thank our dedicated staff, researchers, and supporters for a wonderful 2022. We wish them, and you, a very merry Christmas, and a happy new year. Our e-newsletters will return in 2023. You can subscribe to the APQRC newsleter. Until then, stay safe and well.