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 F M (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

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

Post-doctoral fellows

Dr Adebayo Adeyinka

bayo2k12001@yahoo.com

Application and value determination of distributed energy resources for power system ancillary services

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

Dr Matthew Groch

grochm@sun.ac.za

Short-term forecasting for utility-scale wind farms & Short-term load forecasting

Doctoral Students

Carmen Lewis

carmenl@sun.ac.za

PhD Electrical Engineering:
The spectral impact of atmospheric constituents and clouds on solar irradiance for photovoltaic applications

Chantelle Janse van Vuuren

jvanvuuren@sun.ac.za

PhD Electrical Engineering:
Development of regional time of use feed-in pricing incentives to support optimised geographic siting of wind and solar PV resources for electrical grid support

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

Warren Farmer

17647533@sun.ac.za

PhD Electrical Engineering:
Network planning for frequency stability considering large-scale integration of variable renewable generation

Masters Students

Caroline Van Dongen

caroline.vandongen@aecom.com

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Contribution of pumped storage hydropower in improving the integration of generation from renewable sources for effective grid operations

Charles Sias

12833355@sun.ac.za

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

Daniel Banks

20784678@sun.ac.za

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

Danielle Lyners

19399995@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Development of a short-term ramping forecasting model for utility size wind energy facilities

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

David Scheepers

18987028@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Harmonic contribution of Renewable Power Producers on the power system

Evan Weyermüller

19839227@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
The use of ANFIS for short term load forecasting

Ian Gerber

21011788@sun.ac.za

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

Jana Breedt

BreedtJn@eskom.co.za

Masters Industrial Engineering:
Demand forecasting for the Eskom transmission network planning in a rapid evolving power sector

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

Marco Joubert

mjo@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Incorporating atmospheric regimes into short-term wind power forecasting

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

25801937@sun.ac.za

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

Ria Xavier

riaxavier@sun.ac.za

Masters Electrical Engineering:
Active participation of smart inverters in grid control: A review of international grid code standards and opportunities for South Africa

Graduated Students

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

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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May 21 @ 09:00 - 10:00

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May 28 @ 09:00 - 10:00

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June 4 @ 09:00 - 10:00

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June 11 @ 09:00 - 10:00

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June 18 @ 09:00 - 10:00

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