Renewable Power Systems


The large scale deployment of renewable power sources requires significant shift in the operation, planning and design of the electric grid. This lecture series will discuss the state-of-the- art in renewable power technology, particularly modeling and control of wind power to enable stable reliable and economic operation of the electric grid. We will discuss the power electronics, topologies, modulation and control of grid converters for wind power applications. Towards the end of the course we will study the current and future technologies enabling large scale wind power deployment in the electric grid.


The course is suitable for graduate students in electrical engineering, sustainable energy, earth and environmental engineering and professionals interested in smart grid, renewable energy and sustainable energy. Undergraduates with advanced standing may take the class with permission from the instructor. This course requires working knowledge of Matlab, Simulink and undergraduate class in power systems such as ELEN E4511: Power Systems Analysis or equivalent. Fundamentals of electric machines and power electronics will be covered as necessary.


We will begin by reviewing the basics of traditional power system and then discuss the challenges of operating wind power in such an electric grid (Lecture 1). Then in Lectures 2-4 we will review different wind power technologies and then develop models for wind turbines to carry out power system studies. We will use the system analysis methods to study the impact of wind power and develop control methods that will enable wind turbines to stabilize the electric grid (Lectures 5-7). We will also discuss the current and upcoming technical regulations for connecting wind turbines to the electric grid in Lecture 8. In the last leg of the course (Lectures 9-11), we will study the current and future technologies enabling large scale wind power deployment in electric grid. See Course Details for further information.


There will be no exams for this class. The class grading will be based on the following four main criteria:

  • Homework 10%: One Matlab/Simulink programming assignment
  • Research Exposure 20%: From lecture 3 onwards each class meeting will include a discussion papers from the class reading list. All students are expected to read all papers. For evaluation, the students will submit a short review of the paper (in instructor prescribed format). 
  • Class participation 10%: Students will make two 25 minute presentations on papers in the class reading list. 
  • Project work 60%: Students can work in teams of two or three for the project. Students will work on an instructor defined research project on an open problem in one of the following areas: i) Control system design for wind turbines to stabilize the grid, ii) Modeling of renewable power for power system analysis, iii) Solutions for integrating large scale renewable power in power system. These projects will require significant engineering and Matlab implementation skills.


This class will consist of traditional lectures and paper discussions. After the first two lectures, in every class meeting the instructor will introduce a new topic, and use the remaining class time for discussion of classic and contemporary papers in renewable systems. A reading list will be provided in advance. Please see Research Reading and Recommended Textbooks for further details
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