Structured Microgrids: Invaluable Assets for Grid Modernization

Keynote speaker: Dr Don Tan

Structured microgrids (SMs) are natural vehicles for integrating renewable energy into grid. Early campus adaptors, such as combined heat and power, have demonstrated significant economical benefits while reducing environmental footprint. They bring tremendous benefits to utility companies also. For instance, with their storage and active control capabilities, a 300-percent increase in bulk transmission and distribution is possible without having to increase transmission capacity. Furthermore, they will also position the utility industry to be better prepared for the emerging huge increase in baseload demand from electric vehicles and data centers for big data. This is a win-win-win situation for the consumer, the utilities (grid operators), and the environment. SMs are also powerful in turning a common back-up power set from an idle asset to an active asset for revenue generation. The will also be valuable in power substation automation and for energy surety, reliability, resiliency and security. It is also shown that the initial cost associated with a SM deployment can be easily offset with reduced operating cost, which in turn reduces the total life cycle cost by 33% to 67%.


Don TanDr. Don Tan is NGAS Fellow and Power Products Manager. He earned his Ph.D. from Caltech and is IEEE Fellow. A leader in adiabatic power conversion and resilient energy systems, his pioneering innovations have led to 10 high-impact industry firsts with record performances. He has given more than 40 keynotes and invited presentations at top-tier international conferences. His research and technologies have attracted more than $28M funding and his products portfolio is worth more than $200M. He serves frequently on national and international review committees/selection panels.

His leadership and services include: IEEE Board of Directors (2017-2018), TAB Financial Transparency Ad Hoc (2016-present), TAB/PSPB Products (2016), TAB ARC (2015), Founding Editor-in-Chief of IEEE JESTPE (2013–present), PELS Nomination Committee Chair (2015–2016), President (2013–2014), Vice President-Operations (2009–2012), Fellow Committee (2010–2013), Vice President-Meetings (2001–2004), APEC General Chair and Steering Committee Chair (1999-2000), Associated Editor for IEEE TPEL (1996–2000) and LAC Chapter Chair (1995-1999).

His recent recognitions include: IEEE PELS Harry J. Owen, Jr. Distinguished Service Award (2017), Engineering Choice Award (2014), Distinguished Engineer (2011), CIE USA Asian American Engineer of the Year (2010), AIAA Space System Award (2008), JANNAF Outstanding Achievement in Spacecraft Propulsion (2007), NGST(TRW) Distinguished Patent Award (2002) and President’s Award for Innovation (2002). His technologies were licensed to major international companies.

Benefits and challenges of power electronics enabled flexibility of power systems

Keynote speaker: Jovica V Milanovic

The future power/energy  systems will be characterised by blurred boundaries between transmission and distribution system, by mix of wide range of electricity generating technologies (conventional hydro, thermal, nuclear and power electronic interfaced stochastic and intermittent renewable generation), responsive and highly flexible, typically power electronics interfaced, demand and storage with significant temporal and spatial uncertainty, proliferation of power electronics (HVDC, FACTS devices and new types of load devices) and significantly higher reliance on the use of measurement data including global (Wide Area Monitoring) signals for system identification, characterization and control and Information and Communication Technology embedded within the power system network and its components.

The key characteristic of such a complex system, if it is only one to be picked, would certainly be prolifereation of power electronic devices in  different shapes and forms and for different purposes. This will increase controllability and observability of the system but may as a trade off  result in different/unexpected dynamic behaviour of the system and possibly, under some circumstances,  deterioration of some  aspects of its performance. This presentation identifies some of the challenges associated with operation and control of power systems with significant pentetration of power electronics interfaced generation and loads and approaches to identify, model and overcome them.


Jovica V MilanovicJovica V Milanovic received Dipl.Ing. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Ph.D. degree from the University of Newcastle, Australia, and D.Sc. degree from The University of Manchester, UK. Prior to joining The University of Manchester, UK, in 1998, he worked with “Energoproject”, Engineering and Consulting Co. and the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia, and the Universities of Newcastle and Tasmania in Australia.

Currently, he is a Professor of Electrical Power Engineering, Deputy Head of  School  and Director of External Affairs   in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering  at The University of Manchester, UK , Visiting Professor at the University of Novi Sad and the University of Belgrade, Serbia and Conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He was chairman of 4 international conferences, editor or member of editorial/technical boards of 70+ international journals and conferences, research project assessor for numerous international government research funding councils, member of 9 (convenor of 3) past or current IEEE/CIGRE/CIRED WG and consultant or member of advisory boards for several international companies. Professor Milanovic  published  close to 500 research papers and reports, gave 20+ key-note speeches at international conferences and presented over 140 courses/tutorials and lectures to industry and academia around the world.

Professor Milanovic  is a Chartered Engineer in the UK, Foreign member of the Serbian Academy of Engineering Sciences, Fellow of the IET, Fellow of the IEEE, Distinguished IEEE PES Lecturer and  currently serves on  IEEE PES Governing Board as  Regional Representative for Europe, Middle east and Africa and as a vice-chair of the IEEE PES Fellows Committee.

Accommodation of High Renewable Energy Penetration in Power Systems

Keynote speaker: David Infield

Driven by the need to reduce carbon emissions associated with electricity generation, renewable energy sources are playing an increasing role in power systems around the world.  Some national systems are now seeing the annual average renewable contribution exceeding 20% of total electricity generation, with instantaneous penetrations far exceeding this.  Although low penetrations of renewable energy can be absorbed with little change to power system operation, this is not true when a high proportion of generation is coming from time variable renewable energy sources.  Moreover, the dominant new forms of renewable generation, namely variable speed wind turbines and photovoltaics, do not contribute physical inertial and displace conventional plant that add small but critically important inertia to the power system.  This presentation will review the latest research concerned with these issues, and based on this, sketch out the form and operation of future power systems.


David InfieldFollowing a degree in Maths and Physics from Lancaster, and a PhD in applied mathematics/theoretical physics, David joined an industry research association (BSRIA – Building Services Research and Information Association) to work on solar heating and combined heat and power.  After a couple of years there he joined Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to on wind energy.  There he became the manager of the Universities Wind Test site, working closely with Universities on wind energy research, including wind turbine aerodynamics, condition monitoring, and wind-diesel systems.

In 1993 he moved to Loughborough University, his first academic post, to create CREST, the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology.  The next decade were lean years with regard to wind energy research funding so research was focused on PV and the integration of renewable energy into power systems.  Together with Leon Freris, he established an MSc (including a distance learning option) in Renewable Energy Systems Technology, which still runs successfully.  He also worked with the EUREC Agency in Brussels to establish a European Renewable Masters course.  This also continues to flourish.  He also led a number of major EU and EPSRC projects.  He joined up with Graeme Burt to manage the Highly Distributed Power Systems (HDPS) Supergen consortium.

He became the founding Editor in Chief of IET Renewable Power Generation in 2006 which he continues to manage and is now one of the leading international journals concerned with renewable power integration.  An annual conference series was developed to support the journal and this alternates between venues in Europe and Asia.

Participation in this partnership with Strathclyde led to him joining the University in 2007 as Professor of Renewable Energy Systems Technologies.  The HDPS project was followed by the HiDEF Supergen (Highly Distributed Energy Future).  Other major projects at Strathclyde included a Platform grant on the integration of renewable energy into power systems, participation in the Supergen for Delivery of Sustainable Hydrogen, and in an EPSRC/China grant on EV Smart Grids.  His most important contribution within EEE was to establish in 2009, together with Bill Leithead, the Doctoral Training Centre for Wind Energy Systems.  This now continues as the CDT for Wind and Marine Energy Systems.  These grants have allowed Strathclyde to become by far the largest UK centre for wind energy research, and one of the largest in the EU.  From 2018 his status has been Research Professor at the University.