Electrical Smart Grids for Developing Countries
Professor Li Ran from Warwick's School of Engineering is joining Imperial College and Cardiff University in an EPSRC funded UK-India collaborative project. They will undertake research to investigate the applications of power electronics and modern sensor/communication technologies to achieve reconfigurable power distribution networks; these would better facilitate the integration of local renewable energy sources, improve power supply quality and make better use of existing hardware infrastructure. The Indian counterparts are the Indian Institutes of Technology Kharagpur, Bombay and Kanpur. The project which is planned for 3 years will allow the UK and Indian researchers to appreciate their different priorities and learn from each other's solutions.
The "reconfigurable distribution network" presents a great opportunity in both the Indian and UK context. It also present research challenges on a number of fronts: innovation in power electronic equipment to reduce power losses and increase lifetime; the need to design new control algorithms to exploit the new flexible equipment to the benefit of consumers and network operators and the need to create new optimisation and planning tools to indicate where exactly the new equipment should be deployed and to determine how robust its business case can be.