HDR Scholarship - Smart inverters for renewable energy based distribution generation for supporting the ancillary services in smart grids

Applications now open

A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'HDR Scholarship - Smart inverters for renewable energy based distribution generation for supporting the ancillary services in smart grids'.

Project Supervisor


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

As the intake of renewable energy based distribution generation (REDG) continues to escalate in distribution power systems, their operational requirements are stepping to a higher level of responsibilities. When REDG were initially incorporated in distribution power systems, the main purpose of integration was to act as supplementary sources to the main fusel based sources and to inject, as much as possible, an active power to the grid. However, this situation has changed as REDG are becoming integral parts of distribution power systems supplying the majority of the demand for a prolonged periods of time. Therefore, a major rethinking approach has been put forward to explore the potential issues of the increased contents of REDG. Being a major part of the energy sources, REDGs are expected to be controlled with higher flexibility and reliability to provide sufficient support in form of ancillary services to the grid, such as reactive power control, voltage and fault ride-through capabilities, inertia support, and harmonic mitigations. Such support and functionalities from REDG can be achieved with the implementation of smart inverters.

Project aim

The aim of this project is to offer controlling approaches and strategies for smart inverters to ensure the greater dependencies of REDG in distribution power system. The key objectives in this project are to address the main challenges of accommodating high contents of REDG. This includes the following.

  • Currently frequency in current power systems is stabilised by a combination of the rotational inertia (rotating mass) of synchronous generators and control algorithms acting on the rotating speed of a number of major synchronous generators. The rotating inertia provides a mechanism resisting drastic changes in the system; as it is independent on system disturbances, it offers frequency support during the fault as well as in the subsequent recovery period. Power electronics under similar conditions may be forced in the fault ride-through mode offering greatly reduced power injections when they are needed most.
  • Significant reduction in the system fault level. This may have a profound impact on the quality of power supply and cause operational problems for traditional phase commuted converters resulting in the reduced power transfer capability and/or an increased number of commutation failures.
  • Increased use of non-synchronous sources equipped with fault ride-through capability will increase the system vulnerability. These devices, on one hand, allow power electronics to ride through the voltage disturbance but, on the other hand, it temporarily reduces active power contribution resulting in further deterioration of frequency. As more non-synchronous sources are connected to strong transmission system, a fault in the main grid potentially may be seen by a larger number of small generators. This effect may lead to the need of redefining the meaning of the critical single contingency.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Monday 15 July 2019


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $27,596 per annum tax exempt (2019 rate)

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be a domestic candidate (domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship).
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

How to apply

Learn more about submitting a successful application on the How to apply page


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Ameen Gargoom

Dr Ameen Gargoom
Lecturer, Electrical Electronics Engineering
Email Ameen Gargoom
+61 3 522 78976