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

Dr B (Bernard) Bekker

bbekker@sun.ac.za

Power Systems & Renewable Energy

Prof HJ (Johan) Vermeulen

vermeuln@sun.ac.za

Power Systems, Load Modelling & Renewable Generation

K (Karin) Kritzinger

karink@sun.ac.za

Energy Policy & Energy Finance Modelling

Dr FM (Fred) Mwaniki

fmmwaniki@sun.ac.za

Power Electronics & Electrical Drives

K (Karen) Garner

garnerks@sun.ac.za

Electrical Machines Systems

Dr AJ (Arnold) Rix

rix@sun.ac.za

Photovoltaic 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 CY (Chantelle) Van Staden

cvanstaden@sun.ac.za

 Renewable Energy

Post-doctoral fellows

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

Doctoral Students

Christina Auret

14335484@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

josh@sustainable.org.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

Ndamulelo Mararakanye

ndamulelo@sun.ac.za

PhD Electrical Engineering:
Power system flexibility optimisation in grids with high share of variable renewable energy systems

Nikkie Korsten

nikkiekorsten@gmail.com

PhD in Environmental Management at School of Public Leadership:
The impact of residential rooftop PV on low-income electricity consumers in South Africa

Masters Students

Charles Sias

12833355@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Investigating the viability of micro grid installations as a deferral option for network capacity upgrades

Chris Abraham

24540463@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Feasibility of electric minibus-taxis in sub-Saharan Africa, while evaluating opportunities for renewable energy charging infrastructure

Daniel Banks

20784678@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Wideband characterisation of power transformers using the Pseudo-Random Impulse Sequence (PRIS)

Johannes De Bruyn

jdebruyn@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Probabilistic analysis of the transmission network in the Northern Cape with the goal of determining congestion levels

Daniello Mouton

dmouton@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Investigate the future flexibility requirements of the Namibian grid given the planned increase in VRE uptake

Ian Gerber

21011788@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
In situ parameter estimation of a machine using a Pseudo-Random Impulse Sequence (PRIS)

Johannes Lambrechts

20387075@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
The effects of superharmonics in power networks due to inverters and inverter control schemes

Leigh Bongers

bongers@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Reanalysis of South African power system operating reserves requirements given the increasing uptake of variable renewable energy sources

Lukas van Eck

lveck@george.gov.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
The impact of autonomous inverters on a South African distribution network

Mark Reuter

mmreuter@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Towards optimal scheduling – Thermal unit commitment with high share of VRE generation using data-driven optimization methods

Munyaradzi Keith Mupazviriho

keithmupa@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Impacts of climate change on future VRE generation

Graduated Students

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 Discernmentand 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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