The research of the EEH - Power Systems Laboratory is based on current problems and developments in the power industry and based on scientific methods and tools from system theory.
More detailed information is given in "read more". Specific descriptions of research projects can be found on the left.
Further information on our research, given courses, travels by group members etc. are to be found in our annual reports. They are availaible for download at the publication section.
The electric power system is probably the largest man-made system in the world. Despite the fact that it is over a hundred years since electricity was introduced on a larger scale as an energy carrier, no other energy form has proved to surpass its outstanding properties in form of flexibility, cleanness, compactness, etc. It is a matter of fact that virtually no activity in a modern society can take place without electricity. Furthermore, the dependency on cheap and reliable supply of electric power has increased in the age of information technology.
The focus of research in the power systems area has changed over the years. Initially the main themes were related to expansion and voltage upgrading of the power systems. These areas are still of interest in many developing countries, while in the industrialised countries the research areas of main interest are system security, or reliability, and system efficiency. System security is motivated by the higher dependency of electric power, and to achieve higher efficiency is a natural in a system that involves large economical values. The research of the Power Systems Laboratory addresses both these issues.
De-regulation, or liberalisation, of the power system is the means used to achieve higher efficiency in many countries today. By introducing competition among power producers and a free choice of supplier for the consumers, the system could be operated as a free market, and consequently resources could be allocated in the way the market, i.e. the consumers and producers together, desires.
This restructuring of the power system puts new demands on the power system, particularly the transmission system, and its operation. However, the possibility to build new transmission lines is in most cases excluded because of cost or that it is not possible to get permission. The solution in many cases could be to install equipment based on power electronics, often called FACTS devices, that could control the system and enhance its performance in new ways to cope with the new requirements. New demands on system control have resulted in that state-of-the-art in communication and IT are routinely used in today's power systems. The power industry is one of the most advanced users of these technologies.
The research of the Power Systems Laboratory at ETH is addressing important questions and problems in the power industry described above. In the individual projects described system theory is used to study and design solutions for the power systems incorporating the most advanced communication and information technologies.
Distribution grids for electrical energy are facing numerous new requirements and challenges caused by increased amount of installations of distributed generation (DG) as well as new loads (electric vehicles, heat pumps) at low and medium voltage levels.