Electrical Energy Systems

Research on electrical energy systems focuses broadly on generation, transmission, conversion and control of electrical energy, including renewable energy. Six permanently employed lecturers form the division for Electrical Energy and, together with a relatively high number of postgraduate students, are involved in this research. Facilities comprise, amongst other things, three large, world-class laboratories for research on high-voltage power electronics and electrical machines. Tests can be done in these laboratories at power and voltage levels of up to 3 MW and 400 kV respectively.

The research on power systems includes work on wideband modelling and parameter estimation of power system components by application of system identification techniques. Instrumentation for system identification measurements and the measurement of wideband waveforms on high-voltage transmission systems form part of this research. As an example of what is done, a number of large generator units were recently tested for modelling and parameter identification purposes in conjunction with the Electricity Supply Commission (Eskom) of South Africa. The way electrical loads are modelled is cardinal to the analysis, operation and design of energy system networks, particularly in rural areas. Load modelling and load voltage sensitivity for energy system analysis therefore receives considerable attention in research on power systems.

Evaluation of the performance of power-line insulators made of various materials in polluted environments forms an important part of the high voltage research. For example, cyclo-aliphatic insulators of different lengths have been energised at a coastal test station to evaluate their pollution performance. A pollution monitoring device has been developed and calibrated in this regard.

Power electronic converters play a vital role in electrical energy conversion and control. The power electronic research focuses on the development and control of new power electronic converter technology and the application thereof. This includes research on multilevel converters, cost-effective AC-to-AC converters, single-to-three phase converters and matrix converters. Applications for these converters are active filters, voltage regulation devices, conversion of renewable energy and rural electrification. An example is the 3 kV active filter/regeneration device for a traction substation that has recently been developed.

Research on electrical machines and drives focuses on the optimum design and control of permanent magnet, reluctance and induction machine drive and generator systems. Optimum design of these machines is achieved using finite-element analysis and optimisation algorithms. New permanent-magnet generators are designed and developed, for example, for direct-drive renewable energy applications such as wind, hydro and wave energy. A study on linear Stirling-engine generator power supply was launched recently. Another focus of the research is on drive systems for electrical transportation, such as in-wheel drives for electrical vehicles. A parallel hybrid electrical vehicle was recently developed and tested. Position sensorless control, as well as optimum efficiency control, also form an integral part of the research on electrical drives.

For further information on the research focus areas in the Division for Electrical Energy, please visit the websites below. Postgraduate bursaries are available for Masters and PhD studies.

Contact person: Prof. MJ Kamper OR Tel: +27-21- 808 432

Electrical Machines and Drives

Visit the Electrical Machine Laboratory website for more information.

High Voltage Research

Visit the High Voltage Research Laboratory website (page under construction) for more information.

Power Electronic Converters

Visit the Power Electronics Group website for more information.

Power System and Transformer Modelling

Contact Prof. Johan Vermeulen for more information on this research activity.

ESL Link
Electrical Machines Laboratory US Electrical Machines Laboratory (EMLab) undertakes research, design and development of both conventional and special electrical machines, applied magnetics and power electronics.

Researchers at US Electrical Machines Laboratory (EML) have been working together on a series of design and development projects, including:Battery powered EVs Transverse flux machine,High speed PM generator SRM machine drive, IPM traction motor drive Novel PM hub motor, Advanced motion control and Gearless wind generators.


ESL Link

High Voltage Laboratory The Department of Electrical Engineering of the University of Stellenbosch was founded in 1944. From the outset High Voltage Engineering was an important element of the Department. The early professors, Prof. Alan Heydorn and Prof Hanno Reuter both had a solid high voltage training in accordance with the German school. The undergraduate lectures are in Afrikaans, but postgraduate work and research is conducted in English.


ESL Link

Power Electronics Group This lab does research mainly for industry and governmental organisations. Our clients include ESKOM and SANERI.


Dr B (Bernard) BEKKER

Dr B (Bernard) BEKKER

POWER SYSTEMS & RENEWABLE ENERGY

Specific Research: Power System Modelling
Email: bbekker@sun.ac.za
Website: http://crses.sun.ac.za

Dr HJ (Johan) BEUKES

Dr HJ (Johan) BEUKES

POWER ELECTRONICS AND APPLICATIONS

Specific Research: Utility applications of power electronic converters
Email: jbeukes@sun.ac.za

Ms K (Karen) GARNER

Ms K (Karen) GARNER

ELECTRICAL MACHINE SYSTEMS

Specific Research: Electrical machine design; Renewable energy generator systems; High voltage systems; Transmission design
Email: garnerks@sun.ac.za

Dr N (Nathie) GULE

Dr N (Nathie) GULE

ELECTRICAL MACHINES AND DRIVES

Specific Research: Multiphase induction machine drives and control; Renewable energy and power systems
Email: nathie@sun.ac.za
Website: http://research.ee.sun.ac.za/emr/node/24

Prof MJ (Maarten) KAMPER

Prof MJ (Maarten) KAMPER

ELECTRICAL MACHINE SYSTEMS

Specific Research: Electrical machine design; Electrical drives and control; Renewable energy generator systems.
Email: kamper@sun.ac.za
Website: http://research.ee.sun.ac.za/emr/node/8

Prof HdT (Toit) MOUTON

Prof HdT (Toit) MOUTON

POWER ELECTRONICS

Specific Research: Converter technology; Multilevel converters; AC to DC converters; Control of power electronic converters.
Email: dtmouton@sun.ac.za

Dr FM (Fred) MWANIKI

Dr FM (Fred) MWANIKI

POWER ELECTRONICS; POWER SYSTEM MODELLING

Specific Research: Grid measurements; Renewable energy grid integration; DC to DC converters High voltage systems
Email: fmmwaniki@sun.ac.za

Mr C (Christo) NICHOLLS

Mr C (Christo) NICHOLLS

SMART UTILITIES

Specific Research: IoT; Machine learning; Demand Side Management; Power systems; Utility solutions
Email: cnicholls@sun.ac.za

Dr AJ (Arnold) RIX

Dr AJ (Arnold) RIX

PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS

Specific Research: Solar PV technology; Rooftop and utility scale solar PV; Performance monitoring; Network integration.
Email: rix@sun.ac.za

Dr JM (Johann) STRAUSS

Dr JM (Johann) STRAUSS

ELECTRICAL ENERGY SYSTEMS

Specific Research: Efficient energy conversion; Linear generators
Email: jstrauss@sun.ac.za

Prof HJ (Johan) VERMEULEN

Prof HJ (Johan) VERMEULEN

POWER SYSTEMS, LOAD MODELLING & RENEWABLE GENERATION

Specific Research: Load modelling; Energy management; Grid integration of renewable energy
Email: vermeuln@sun.ac.za

Prof R-J (Roger) WANG

Prof R-J (Roger) WANG

ELECTRICAL MACHINE SYSTEMS

Specific Research: Special electrical machines; Finite element modelling; Renewable energy systems; Thermal analysis in power devices
Email: rwang@sun.ac.za
Website: http://staff.ee.sun.ac.za/rwang/

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