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DSSP: Does a Smarter Power Grid Really Matter Anyway?

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Location: F110, School of Engineering

Professor William Hung

Independent Power Systems Consultant

Director/WH Power Systems Consultant Ltd

Technical Director /Physical Sciences and Engineering/ Cardiff University

Honorary Professor/ School of Engineering/ University of Warwick

Does a Smarter Power Grid Really Matter Anyway?


With the ever-changing energy landscape towards a low carbon economy, there are significant challenges to the electricity supply industry worldwide. The presentation gives a reflection of the UK experience in managing the system with collaborative effort from the key stakeholders.

The electrical power system in Great Britain (GB) has a maximum demand of around 65GW but no synchronized connections with other parts of Europe. Given the UK government’s low carbon commitment, there are already 11GW of wind generation installed both onshore and offshore. This is projected to increase to 26 GW by 2020 and over 50GW by 2030. The increasing dominance of wind generation has presented challenges to the GB system operator (SO). The presentation focuses on frequency control issues and gives an overview on how these issues are addressed in close collaboration with the industry.

Given the relatively small synchronous island, frequency control issues have been important and these will become more critical in the future years. The presentation provides some background on how the frequency response services have been established since the industry was privatized in the nineties. The continual reduction of conventional plant and increase of renewable generation will make these issues more challenging and the SO is taking a lead with the industry to address the issue with the key stakeholders.

The relationship between low-carbon objectives and the strategic security of electricity in the context of the UK electricity system, the development of a smarter grid and smart demands are discussed.


Professor William Hung (MBA PhD BSc CEng FIET) is the Director of WH Power Systems Consultant Ltd, Honorary Professor at Warwick University and Technical Director at Cardiff University. He is an expert in the power system field with over 35 years of experience spanning across Utility (National Grid), Consultancy (PB Power and ERA) and Manufacturing (GEC now ALSTOM) companies. His business focus is on applying mathematical modelling, advanced control, dynamic system testing and performance monitoring techniques to improve system dynamic and stability performance.

He was with National Grid until 2013 after 24 years’ service and he had been the Technical Leader on system and generation dynamics, modelling, control and monitoring. He chaired/provided technical lead on various Working Groups across the business including System Monitoring with WAM, Sub synchronous Resonance and Torsional Interaction (SSR/SSTI), HVDC modelling and testing, Smart Grid, Dynamic Demand, system stability and frequency incident investigations and RoCoF (Rate of Change of Frequency) risk areas.

He had led the industry in improving, testing and benchmarking frequency response performance of generating and HVDC plants. He also collaborated with the industry to promote and develop dynamic demands to provide frequency control services.

His plant testing and trouble-shooting experience covers major power stations worldwide, large on-shore industrial plant and off-shore installations in the North Sea.

He chaired the Very Large Power Grid Operator (VLPGO) HVDC WG with members from major Utility Companies worldwide to resolve key HVDC issues. He also collaborated with CIGRE to develop generic HVDC models for international Utility companies. He is a Chartered Engineer and the Fellow Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology in the UK.

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