Welcome to the

POWER SYSTEMS RESEARCH GROUP

RESEARCH

The Power Systems Research Group (PSRG) studies the impacts of increasing variable renewable energy (VRE) generation and changing customer behaviour on the traditional electrical power system. The group is housed within the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University, and forms a part of the Eskom Power Plant Engineering Institute’s Specialisation Centres network.

The research activities are ultimately aimed at supporting the system operation, network planning and long-term capacity planning functions within the South African power industry. Strong partnerships with South Africa’s national utility, Eskom, and local municipal utilities support this aim.

PSRG’s research focuses extensively on data analytics, the application of machine-learning techniques (such as optimisation, classification and clustering) and forecasting / probabilistic methodologies.

PSRG Research Interests

UNDERSTANDING SOURCES
OF VARIABILITY IN THE
POWER SYSTEM

  • Weather & Climate
  • Customer behaviour
  • Technological factors

CHARACTERISATION OF
VARIABILITY AND
UNDERSTANDING ITS IMPACT

  • RE generation power conversion
  • Ancillary services methods and value
  • Ramping and cycling of traditional
    generation technologies
  • Accuracy of inputs into long-term energy models
  • Load modelling

APPLICATIONS TO SUPPORT
POWER SYSTEM PLANNING
AND OPERATIONS

  • Geospatial optimisation and aggregation
  • Optimal commitment and dispatch of
    generation
  • Optimal control of DERs
  • Optimal deployment of DERs
  • Data analytics, forecasting & machine learning
  • DER safety, fault response & quality of supply

PEOPLE

Academic Staff and Study Leaders

Prof B (Bernard) Bekker

bbekker@sun.ac.za

Power Systems & Renewable Energy

Dr CY (Chantelle) Van Staden

cvanstaden@sun.ac.za

 Renewable Energy

Dr AJ (Arnold) Rix

rix@sun.ac.za

Photovoltaic Systems

Dr FM (Fred) Mwaniki

fmmwaniki@sun.ac.za

Power Electronics & Electrical Drives

Dr K (Karen) Garner

garnerks@sun.ac.za

Electrical Machines Systems

Dr HJ (Johan) Beukes

jbeukes@sun.ac.za

Power Electronics & Applications

Prof MJ (Thinus) Booysen

mjbooysen@sun.ac.za

Computer Systems

Dr JM (Johann) Strauss

jstrauss@sun.ac.za

Electrical Energy Systems

C (Christo) Nicholls

cnicholls@sun.ac.za

Demand Side Management, Electronics, Machine Learning

JC (Nelius) Bekker

neliusb@sun.ac.za

Power System Modelling

Dr AA (Armand) Du Plessis

amarndd@sun.ac.za

 Solar PV technology, machine learning, embedded systems

Dr Amaris Dalton

amaris_dalton@sun.ac.za

Wind power prediction, power system modelling, and investigating the applications of atmospheric state classification and downscaling to wind power production.

Dr Justice Chihota

justicechihota@sun.ac.za

Power system planning considering uncertainty and the integration of distributed energy resources

Post-doctoral Fellows

Dr Steyn de Wet

steyndewet@sun.ac.za

 Power system economics, energy market liberalisation and trans-disciplinary research systems.

Dr Chris Abraham

emobility@sun.ac.za

Simulation and deployment of electric vehicle fleets

Dr Francisca Daniel-Durandt

18296033@sun.ac.za

Optimal Maintenance Scheduling for the Future Renewable Power Grid

Doctoral Students

Christina Auret

cauret@sun.ac.za

PhD Electrical Engineering:
Impact of renewable energy integration cost on the long term planning of the South African energy mix

Josh Dippenaar

joshdip@sun.ac.za

PhD Electrical Engineering:
A technical and regulatory framework for electric vehicle hosting on low voltage distribution networks

Lewis Waswa

waswa@sun.ac.za

PhD Electrical Engineering:
Active distribution network planning considering the integration of variable renewable energy systems

Keith Mupazviriho

keithmupa@sun.ac.za

PhD Electrical Engineering:
Power system reliability and electricity markets

Masters Students

Divan Van der Bank

divanvdb@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Wind power forecasting using machine learning techniques

Xander Knipe

raknipe@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Hosting capacity evaluation and enhancement of the Western Cape grid

Tiaan Vivier

23628693@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Energy storage in the South African power system

Grace Ruzive

22279857@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
The Challenges towards becoming 100% renewable in the Western Cape

Theunis Oosthuizen

22541187@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Integrated Optimization of Renewable Resources for Long-Term Grid Sustainability in South Africa

Lise Prinsloo

23726059@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Optimization of renewable energy integration into the South African grid

Graduated Students

Aiden Rhode (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2024): The potential of photovoltaics and battery energy storage to address declining electricity price margins within South African municipalities

Johannes de Bruyn (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2024): Investigating probabilistic techniques for calculating the system capacity in the South African transmission network

Chris Abraham (PhD, Electrical Engineering, 2024): Evaluating the feasibility of electric vehicle technology for paratransit in Africa through simulation

Zandile Moyo (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2023): Modelling the broadband impedance of a lithium-ion battery cell using the pseudo-random impulse sequence perturbation

Daniello Mouton (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2023): Incorporating short-term operational constraints into long-term generation planning: a Namibian case study

Johannes Lambrechts (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2022): The Measurement and Analysis of High-Frequency Conducted Disturbances in Power Networks

Daniel Banks (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2022): Parameter estimation of a high-voltage transformer using pseudo-random impulse sequence perturbation

Ian Gerber (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2022): In situ parameter estimation of a single-phase voltage source inverter using pseudo-random impulse sequence perturbation

Keith Mupazviriho (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2022): Impacts of climate change on Variable Renewable Energy in South Africa

Ndamulelo Mararakanye (PhD, Electrical Engineering, 2022): Characterizing variable renewable energy generation uncertainty towards improved forecasting and operational decision making

Ria Xavier (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2022): The Coordination and control of smart inverters utilizing Volt-VAr and Volt-Watt in low voltage networks, and opportunities for South Africa

Chantelle van Staden (PhD Electrical Engineering, 2022): Geospatial capacity allocation framework of wind and solar photovoltaic renewable generation for optimal grid support

Carmen Lewis (PhD Electrical Engineering, 2021): Modelling atmospheric transmittance for clear-sky spectral solar radiation in practical applications

Warren Farmer (PhD Electrical Engineering, 2021): A novel approach to identify frequency transient (un)stable sub-networks in low-inertia power systems with high renewable energy penetration

Jason Samuels (PhD Electrical Engineering, 2021): Electrical-energy in schools with a focus on behavioural and efficiency interventions

Evan Weyermuller (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2021): Adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference systems and data clustering for short-term load forecasting in capacity constrained market

Jana Breedt (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2021): A forecasting framework for demand forecasting of utility-scale electricity networks in a rapidly evolving power system environment

Amaris Dalton (PhD Electrical Engineering, 2021): The Role of Atmospheric State Classification in Understanding Wind Power Variability with Specific Applications to Ramp Event Discernment and Probabilistic Power Flow Analysis

Danielle Lyners (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2021): Detection and Statistical Modelling of Output Power Ramp Events for Utility Scale Wind Energy Facilities

David Scheepers (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2021): Harmonic Resonance Assessment of Renewable Energy Power Plants on The Power System Using Resonant Mode Analysis

Kevin Buresh (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2021): Impacts of Electric Vehicle Charging in South Africa and Photovoltaic Carports as a Mitigation Technique

Courtney Rhoda (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2020): A Comprehensive Methodology for Impact Assessment Studies of Energy Storage Systems on Low Voltage Distribution Feeders

Lewis Waswa (Masters Electrical Engineering, 2020): A Probabilistic Estimation of the Capacity of Solar PV SSEGs Installed on a LV Feeder Network

PARTNERSHIPS

PSRG’s main funder is the Eskom Power Plant Engineering Institute (EPPEI), through its Specialisation Centre (SC) for Renewable Energy and Power System Simulation. This SC is situated within CRSES at Stellenbosch University.

Our partnership with EPPEI ensures that the group’s research activities remain closely aligned to industry’s needs. The EPPEI network of SCs also provides valuable input into our research, specifically the Energy Efficiency SC at the University of Cape Town and the HVAC SC at WITS University.

The CRSES acts as the central point of entry into Stellenbosch University for Renewable & Sustainable Energy activities and aims to build human capital and institutional capacity in South Africa in these fields through collaboration.

The CRSES was instrumental in securing the Eskom Chair in Power System Simulation for Stellenbosch University, and hosts the EPPEI SC for Renewable Energy and Power System Simulation.

These two Western Cape municipalities provide PSRG with valuable insight into challenges they are experiencing related to renewable energy integration into their distribution grids.

PUBLICATIONS

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EVENTS

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