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Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

A series of wind turbines against a sunset

Energy networks

We undertake research in areas of operation, planning and analysis of energy networks.

The way that energy networks are designed and operated is changing as we move towards more sustainable energy sources. We are seeing rapid growth in distributed generation in the UK and around the world which is changing the way that power systems are designed and operated. Increasingly, we are looking to exploit the flexibility in distribution networks and other new energy network equipment to help support our systems and ensure they are robust and sustainable.

Our research is also driven by the need to replace or extend the life of existing ageing power system equipment. Large amounts of the equipment on our energy networks were installed decades ago and are approaching the end of their planned lifetimes – or have already exceeded them! Our research helps to get the most out of what is installed and manage the transition to new technologies. There is more and more data available to help us in our decision making but understanding how to make sense of this data is a complex task.

We also have to consider whole-energy networks and not just electricity networks. We are increasingly seeing other energy vectors such as gas and heat having significant interactions in how systems operate – understanding these interactions is critical in making sure everyone receives a reliable energy supply.

Research focus

We are experts in this field and cover all aspects related to energy networks.

Some specific areas we focus on are:

  • Data Analytics icon

    Data analytics

    Future energy networks are going to generate and depend on huge amounts of data. We understand what this data tells us about the system is vital to innovate and improve system operation and planning.

  • Dynamic Performance icon

    Dynamic performance

    Energy networks must be stable and secure. We analyse how new technologies impact the dynamic performance and design new controls to ensure the system is reliable.

  • Multi Energy Networks icon

    Multi-energy networks

    In the future, energy networks will include multiple vectors including gas and heat (as well as electricity). We can design optimal systems that make the best use of this to keep system efficient and sustainable.