Electrical and Computer EngineeringWestern Engineering

Power Systems Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering at The University of Western Ontario (UWO), in its Strategic Research Plan, has committed to develop a world-class power systems engineering research and education program. As a part of this endeavour, the Faculty has recently recruited three internationally known faculty members, one being a Hydro One senior industrial research chair in power systems. This, in addition to the recently announced NSERC-UNENE Senior Industrial Research Chair in the area of power systems, has made UWO one of the leading centres for power systems engineering research in Canada and around the world. This Power Systems Engineering group resides within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Western Ontario.

Electric industry restructuring, emerging competitive electricity markets and anticipated rapid growth of alternative energy generation have led to the emergence of many new research opportunities. The key challenges lie in the domain of conditioning, control, protection and operation of the interconnections between the alternate energy generators and the existing electric power grids. Similar research challenges also exist in interfacing alternate energy sources, such as, fuel cells for use in vehicular transportation systems. The expertise and strength of the group lies in power electronic (ac-dc) conditioning technologies, control systems and protection techniques, and is thus very well positioned to perform pioneering research in the abovementioned areas. Although, the group has been established very recently, intensive industry collaborations in above areas have already been established, mainly because of the unique capabilities of this group. The following paragraphs provide brief information about the areas of strength, faculty members, laboratory facilities and collaborations.

AREAS OF STRENGTH

The power systems engineering research group at Western aims at providing innovative solutions for interfacing and interconnecting alternative energy sources, such as, fuel cells, to the emerging electric grids and future transportation systems. Emphasis is on the application of power electronics, computers, digital signal processing, and communication technologies. The group specifically focuses on:

The group's expertise is unique for providing cutting-edge technology solutions and setting standards and practices for safe and efficient operation of the power systems of the future that will have high penetration of alternate energy sources.

FACULTY


 

RESEARCH FACILITIES

Since the inception of the Power Systems Engineering Group, the members of the group have been successful in securing funding from various sources to establish state-of-the-art research facilities that do not exist at any other University in Ontario. These facilities are indispensable for conducting research in the areas of interconnection and interface of energy sources to the electric power grid. Specifically, these include:

The above facilities are relocated in the new $ 27.4 million Thompson Engineering Building, a novel research and teaching facility designed to effectively support the new strategic direction of the Faculty of Engineering.

COLLABORATIONS AND INDUSTRY LINKS

The power systems engineering group at Western has identified emerging energy systems as its principal focus of research. With this objective, the group has vigorously pursued and secured financial support and active collaborations from several leading local, regional and international electric utilities and manufacturing organisations as listed below: