Earning a third place award for an outstanding conference paper at the 17th Clemson University Power System Conference (PSC) is Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Professor and Chair, at the Department of Electrical Power Engineering, Innocent Davidson, and Elutunji Buraimoh, a doctoral student at the Department of Electrical Power Engineering, who is under the supervision of Prof IE Davidson.
The 17th Clemson University Power System Conference (PSC) was held at the Clemson University, United States of America, in March 2020 recently. The conference brings together electric power industry experts, electric utilities, government agencies and academic researchers to exchange and present new ideas to improve the state of the art of power engineering. It blends educational and industrial experiences, field implementations of new techniques, new topics and ideas and cutting-edge technologies in the electric power/smart grid industry.
Prof Davidson (author) and Buraimoh (co-author) were ecstatic with their win of third prize. For Prof Davidson, this is not the first time he has won an award, he has demonstrated achievements and practical accomplishments of his strategic research which has won numerous accolades internationally over the last two decades.
“The award is a reward and validation of the depth and quality of our engineering research activity here at DUT as world-class. It reflects the hard work and dedication which my doctoral student has put into his research and his willing to learn and his resilience to endure the rigour of academic scholarship. The award is dedicated to him and all young researchers at DUT, said Prof Davidson excitedly.
For Buraimoh, the win was a sense of fulfilment. Also, it is the first time he had won an award. “I feel so elated and fulfilled that research carried out in Africa by Africans in such a dynamic field, like Electrical Engineering, can be acknowledged by the international academics and industrial experts. This further strengthens the belief that Africa can actually catch up with the rest of the world,” he said happily.
Their winning paper is titled: Modelling and Assessment of the Fault Ride-Through Capabilities of Grid Supporting Inverter-Based Microgrids. It focuses on Microgrid which provides a veritable platform to harness renewable energy sources and effectively integrate them into the traditional electric power grid.
“The models developed and evaluated provide a sound understanding of grid fault impact on microgrids and fault ride-through compliance. This will alleviate the problem of load-shedding and rampant blackouts,” said Prof Davidson.
Furthermore, he added that the concept of virtual impedance is introduced and emulated in control instead of a large physical link impedance, ensuring a ‘smart’ grid system.
“The innovative approach developed and presented proved to be a more efficient and cost-effective solution, than existing practices, said Prof Davidson.
In terms of what their win means to the university in relation to research, Prof Davidson stressed that it acknowledges DUT as delivering world-class engineering research solutions and innovations, thus acknowledging DUT’s tremendous research excellence, global competitiveness and international relevance in the fast-changing engineering world of smart and critical infrastructure.
“The award reflects the depth of our engineering research activities, which has been strongly supported by the DUT Research Directorate under DVC-RIE Prof Sibusiso Moyo, who co-sponsored attendance at this meeting. Despite the obstacles and distractions we encounter in the pursuit of excellence, dedicated researchers at DUT continue to persevere to make their international mark,” he said.
Professor Innocent Davidson is a Fellow, Institute of Engineering and Technology, UK; Fellow, South African Institute of Electrical Engineers; Senior Member, IEEE, USA; Chartered Engineer, UK and a registered Professional Engineer (P Eng.), Engineering Council of South Africa. His current research interests include grid integration of renewable energy using Smart technologies and Innovation for Smart Cities.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and industry research grants. Prof Davidson is the recipient of the ‘Top Faculty Researcher of the Year (Platinum Category)’ award for Excellence in Research at the Durban University of Technology’s Annual Research and Innovation Awards held on 22 November 2019. He is the Research Leader, FEBE Centre of Excellence in SMART GRIDS – a Research Focussed Area (RFA).
Elutunji Buraimoh conducts his research with Smart Grids Research Centre Laboratory. He holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. His present focus involves the development of efficient strategies and schemes for the enhancement of the fault (low-voltage and high-voltage) ride-through capabilities of microgrids and distributed renewable energy systems at the secondary control level of the hierarchical structure.
Pictured: Prof IE Davidson (left)
Pictured: Elutunji Buraimoh