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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

Power Systems and Transmission Networks

The Durham Energy Institute is involved in research on grid integration of renewables, power system economics, security of supply, and modelling of power systems.

Download our Energy systems research expertise flier.

Key people:

Prof Simon Hogg - Power generation turbomachinery, condition monitoring, asset management, reliability monitoring

Dr Behzad Kazemtabrizi - Renewable Energy Integration, control of modern power systems, smart grids, reliability evaluation

Dr Mahmoud Shahbazi - Microgrid, Power Electronics, Renewable Energy, Smart Grid, Fault-Tolerant Control, Electric Drives

Dr Hongjian Sun - Smart Grids, ICT systems and smart grid communications, Distributed Control Methods for Integrating Renewable Generations, Demand Side Management


The DEI has researchers involved in the following major projects.

Current projects:

Past projects:

  • Development and Evaluation of Sustainable Technologies for Flexible Operation of Conventional Power Plants. EPSRC (2013 to 2018) PI Dr Simon Hogg. This £4.6M Durham-led consortium includes Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh and Leeds with the aim to accelerate progress towards achieving operational excellence for flexible, efficient, controllable, safe and environmentally sustainable thermal power plants.
  • High Energy And Power Density (HEAPD) Solutions to Large Energy Deficits, submitted in response to the India / UK Smart Grids Call, 2014-2018. Durham in collaboration with Bath (lead), Cardiff, and four Indian Institutes: Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR), Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITK), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD), Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) Jaipur.
  • Pumped Thermal Electricity Storage. EPSRC. 2012 -2015. This project is aimed at investigating a novel storage technology that uses a high temperature-ratio heat pump to convert electrical energy into thermal energy. The project is led by Cambridge University and includes Imperial College.
  • SUPERGEN WIND ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES-CORE, Towards the Offshore Wind Power Station. EPSRC. 2010-2014. PI Dr S Hogg. With EA Technology, E ON and others.
  • Preventing wide-area blackouts through adaptive islanding of transmission networks, 2009-2013. PI Prof J.Bialek. This major consortium is funded within EPSRC Energy Challenges in Complexity Science call.
  • Energy Storage for Low Carbon Grids. EPSRC. 2012 -2017, CI Prof J.Bialek with Imperial Colelge, EDF, ABB Ltd, Carbon Trust, Dong etc. Awarded in a prestigious Grand Challenges in Energy Storage call. This £5M interdisciplinary project led by Imperial College involves power engineers, economists, chemists and material scientists from 9 universities to address, in an integrated manner, all aspects of the Grand Challenge in Integrating Energy Storage into Future Energy Networks.
  • The Autonomic Power System. EPSRC. 2011-2016. CI Prof J.Bialek. Awarded in a prestigious EPSRC Grand Challenges in Networks call (2011-2015). This is a large (£3.4M) interdisciplinary project undertaken in collaboration with Strathclyde, Imperial College, Manchester, Cambridge and East Anglia.
  • Mathematical foundations for energy networks: buffering, storage and transmission. EPSRC (2011 to 2013 with follow-up project 2013 to 2015) CI J.Bialek. This is an interdisciplinary project undertaken in collaboration with mathematicians in Cambridge and Heriot Watt
  • Coarse geometry and cohomology of large data sets. CI Prof. J. Bialek. EPSRC grant in Maths Underpinning Digital Economy and Energy call. 2011-2015. This is an interdisciplinary project undertaken in collaboration with mathematicians in Southampton.
  • Capacity assessment for the GB Electricity Market. This project is funded by the National Grid to design the quantitative modelling for the GB Statutory Capacity Assessment Study. Chris Dent designed the technical modelling for the 2012 and 2013 studies.
  • Electrical energy storage systems and smart grids.
  • Green growth diagnostics for Africa. This EPSRC project seeks to develop a new Green Growth Diagnostics methodology and apply it to two African countries: Kenya and Ghana.
  • Securing the European electricity market against malicious and accidental threats (SESAME). SESAME is a FP7-security project cofunded by the European Commission, aiming at providing a contribution to the development of tools and a regulation framework for the security of the European power grid against natural, accidental and malicious attacks.
  • Smarter grid: Empowering SG market actors through information and communication technologies. Power systems undergo massive technological changes due to the ever increasing concerns for environmental and energy sustainability. The increase of RES and DG penetration is one of the main goals in Europe in order to meet the environmental targets.
  • Sustainable grid development (SusGrid). Tooraj Jamasb is part of the SusGrid research project funded by the Norway Research Council and led by the Sintef Energy Norway. The project addresses the community and public engagement with investments in construction of new power lines.
  • Uncertainty analysis of hierarchical energy systems models: Models versus real energy systems. Mathematical models are used widely in the planning and operation of energy systems, and in the development of public energy policy. The aim is to understand the impact of new policies, technologies and market operations.
  • 2014 Probablistic Methods Applied to Power Systems (PMAPS) conference The DEI hosted the international conference in Durham. It is the leading forum for engineers and scientists worldwide to share and discuss their research on probabilistic and statistical modelling applied to power systems. Dr Dent is General Chair and Prof. Bialek is Technical Chair of the conference.
  • SUPERGEN FlexNet (Flexible Networks), 2003 - 2011. Projects on wind and energy markets, power system dynamics.
  • SUPERGEN AMPerES (Asset Management and Performance of Energy Networks), 2006 - 2010.
  • An EPSRC Supergen consortium of six leading UK universities working with 9 industrial partners and the EPSRC. The projects focused on wind and security of supply and aimed to produce tools to enable reliability of energy supply at minimum cost in the context of ageing plant, the drive to deploy renewable and distributed generation and an environmental imperative.
  • Customer-led Network Revolution. A major £53M project awarded in 2010 by Ofgem in the Low Carbon Network Fund initiative.
  • Investigating the Role of Energy Storage Systems in Smart Grids project awarded in 2010 by Electricity North West
  • Risk-limiting Dispatch. Grant funded by Electrical Power Research Institute, 2009-2011

Consultation responses:

2012/2013 – Chris Dent, funded by National Grid, designed technical quantitative modelling for the 2012 and 2013 GB Statutory Capacity Assessment Studies’, for Ofgem’s annual report to Government.

March 2011 - Response to DECC Call for Evidence on Electricity Market Reform. Consultation Response

November 2010 - Response to OFGEM Call for Evidence on Project Transmit. Project TransmiT Evidence on behalf of DEI

November 2009 - Response to OFGEM Call for Evidence on Project Discovery – Energy Market Scenarios.

March 2009 - Response to PRASEG Inquiry on Renewables and the Grid – access and management.