Dr Farhad Shahnia

Senior Lecturer,
Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
“Microgrids, Current enabling technologies and future research trends”

About the Speaker

Dr Farhad Shahnia received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, in 2012. He is currently a Senior Lecturer at Murdoch University. Before that, he was a Lecturer at Curtin University (2012-15), a research scholar at QUT (2008-11), and an R&D engineer at the Eastern Azarbayjan Electric Power Distribution Company, Iran (2005-08). He is currently a Senior Member of IEEE and a Member of the Electric Energy Society of Australia and the Australasian Association for Engineering Education.

Dr. Shahnia's research falls under Distribution networks, Microgrid and Smart grid concepts. He has authored one book and 11 book chapters and 100+ peer-reviewed scholarly articles in international conferences and journals, as well as being an editor of 6 books.

Dr Shahnia has won 5 Best Paper Awards in various conferences and has also received the IET Premium Award for the Best Paper published in the IET Generation, Transmission & Distribution journal in 2015. One of his articles was listed under the top-25 most cited articles in the Electric Power System Research Journal in 2015 while one of his 2015 journal articles has been listed under the top-5 most read articles of the Australian Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering. He was the recipient of the Postgraduate Research Supervisor Award from Curtin University in 2015 and the Australia-China Young Scientist Exchange Award from the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in 2016.

Dr Shahnia is currently an Associate Editor of two journals and has served 35+ conferences in various roles such as Publication, Publicity, Award, Sponsorship, and Special Session Chairs.

About the Tutorial

Electricity systems around the world are experiencing a radical transition as the consequence of replacing fossil fuels, used for electricity production, by sustainable and cleaner energies. The growing penetration of renewable energies requires smarter techniques that are capable of handling the uncertainties of these intermittent sources. Along with this change, traditionally centralized power systems are also converting into distributed self-sufficient systems, often referred to as microgrids, that can operate independently. This course will focus on microgrids, as a hot research topic in Australia and Southeast Asia that have hundreds of remote and off-grid towns and communities, and islands, all suitable avenues for forming and operating microgrids. It is expected that microgrids will strongly benefit these locations in the forthcoming years.

This Tutorial will briefly introduce the progress of research in the field of microgrids around the world, and will also discuss some of the technical challenges associated with the interconnection of distributed energy resources, especially renewable energy-based systems, and battery energy storages, as key steps to improve the microgrids’ survivability in the course of unexpected imbalances between the demand and the available generation from intermittent renewable resources.

The tutorial covers several topics:

  1. Introduction to microgrids
  2. Microgrid topologies, operational modes and control principles
  3. Control of distributed energy resources and batteries in microgrids
  4. Economic considerations of microgrid planning and operation
  5. Technical evaluations of operating microgrids
  6. Interconnection of neighbouring microgrids to each other
  7. Integration of renewable sources into weak and remote microgrids
  8. Microgrid’s stability

It is expected that by the end of this tutorial, the attendees have become familiar with:

  1. Definition, topologies, expectation and benefits of microgrids
  2. Various control schemes for microgrids in grid-connected and islanded modes
  3. Various control aspects and challenges of operating distributed energy resources and batteries in microgrids
  4. Various economic factors considered in the planning and operation of microgrids
  5. Various technical assessments, essential for interconnecting renewable systems to microgrids
  6. Various technical challenges and solutions of interconnecting microgrids to each other
  7. Various factors affecting the stability of microgrids