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Masdar Institute Emirati student develops novel solution to help utilities make significant savings annually [Global Data Point]
[September 10, 2013]

Masdar Institute Emirati student develops novel solution to help utilities make significant savings annually [Global Data Point]

(Global Data Point Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, announced that a UAE national student and a scholar of the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) has published three scientific papers on different Fault Current Limiters (FCLs) technologies, to help utilities save millions of dollars and maintain the security and stability of their networks in accordance with the highest international standards.

Engineer Surour Alaraifi, an Electrical Power Engineering student at Masdar Institute and an employee of Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Company (TRANSCO), an entity wholly-ownedby the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), has become the first UAE national to publish three papers in a single academic year.

In his papers,Mr. Alaraifi introduces a novel solution for improving power system security and stability, enablingthe integrationof more power generation facilities, enhancementof system performance and interconnection with GCC networks and significantly reducing short circuit current levels.

Mr. Alaraifi hasbeen a participant of the ADWEA Scholarship Programme since 2004 and has been an employee of TRANSCO since 2010. Mr. Alaraifi plans to continue his studies as an ADWEA Scholar into a Ph.D.The ADWEA Scholarship Programme was created in 2000, to support and contribute to the development and educational needs of UAE nationals across a diverse range of subject areas including engineering, information technology and other disciplines. Since its inception, the ADWEA Scholarship Programme has awarded scholarships to over 1000 students,and has continued to maintain its commitment to supporting the 2030 Vision by providing unparalleled educational support opportunities for UAE Nationals.

Twoof the papers have been published in the highly prestigious scientificjournalsof the IEEE Transactions on 'Power Systems' and 'Sustainable Energy' respectively, whilethe third IEEE conference paper was presented at thePowerTech2013 conference in Grenoble, France.Held every second year, PowerTechis the anchor conference of the IEEE Power & Energy Society in Europe and offers students one of the best platforms to showcase their research work.

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said, "The unprecedented publication of three papers on FCL technologies by a Masdar Institute UAE national student and ADWEA Scholar is truly commendable. The quality of research work and forums where such work is presented are indications of our world class faculty and creative drive of our students. With the support of the UAE leadership, and the commitment and dedication of partners such as ADWEA, we consistently contribute to developing human capital for Abu Dhabi and the region. We hope the coming year will witness similar presentations on innovative technologies that benefit the community." H.E. Faris Obaid Al Dhaheri, Business Support Director, ADWEA, said, "ADWEA and each of its group companies are extremely proud of Mr. Alaraifi's achievements in this strategic sector. ADWEA's greatest assets have always been, and will continue to be, its scholars and employees. Since its inception, the ADWEA Scholarship Programme has continued to expand and evolve into an innovative and successful programme, fostering an environment for creative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit. Mr. Alaraifi embodies that innovation and success, encapsulating the ethos of the ADWEA Scholarship Programme which is reflected in the words of His Highness, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan AI Nahyan: "A country's greatest investment lies in building generations of educated and knowledgeable youth". We look forward to Mr. Alaraifi rejoining TRANSCO, applying the knowledge that he gained at Masdar Institute, a premier and leading research university, and contributing to the progress of this important sector." Under the supervision of Masdar Institute faculty Dr. Mohamed Shawky (as the main advisor) and Dr. Hatem Zeineldin (the co-advisor), Mr. Alaraifi's thesis addresses the critical problem in most power systems, namelyescalating fault current levels that impact power system's security, reliability and stability.Fault current refers to the excessive flow of electricity through a system that can lead to power tripping or blown fuse.

Dr. Mohamed Shawky said, "Mr. Alaraifi's research contribution is a remarkable achievementas heis the first UAE national student at Masdar Institute who has published two IEEE Transaction papers in the IEEE Power and Energy Society. The proposed technology ensures better utilization of power system equipment and improved system performance. This comprehensive research work will be of great value to ADWEA which has maintained diligent oversight over the water and electricity sector, working with private partners and group companies to generate, produce, transmit, distribute and deliver potable water and sustainable electricity to everyone living and working in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Mr. Alaraifi's significant accomplishment would not have been possible without the continual support and assistance shown by strategic partners such as ADWEA and its Scholarship Programme." Mr. Alaraifi's first journal paper addresses the design and optimal allocation of High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) FCL in power transmission networks and proposes an optimization framework to guide utility planners in finding the required reduction level and critical locations within the power network for stability and security enhancement.His second papercovers the challenging area of wind power generation carried out with his peer Ahmed Zidan (aPh.D. student), and under the supervision of Dr. Mohamed Shawky and Dr. Vinod Khadkikar. In this second paper, he proposes a design philosophy for HTS-FCL which significantly enhances wind power plants performance against grid faults.

The third paper analyzes conventional and novel fault level mitigation schemes with a focus on fault current limiters and was published and presented in IEEE PowerTech2013 conference in Grenoble. Based on the quality of the presentation, a leading HTS-FCL manufacturer has expressed interest incollaborating with the research team.

Lightning and downed or crossed power lines can cause faultcurrents, which can cost utility providers millions of dollars each year to rectify, in addition to the costs of regular maintenance and the preventative measures already undertaken by such companies. These large currents can damage or degrade circuit-breakers and other expensive transmission and distribution (T&D) system components, severelydisrupting power supply.

Research projects, undertaken by theElectrical Power Engineering programme at Masdar Institute, aim to providemajor advancements in electrical design and operation of renewable energy systems as well as sustainable technology.Currentresearch projects cover areas such as smart grids, modeling and converters for renewable sources, innovative protection and control techniques in power systems andelectric machine design.Serving as a key pillar of innovation and human capital, Masdar Institute remains fundamental to Masdar's core objectives of developing Abu Dhabi's knowledge economy and finding solutions to humanity's toughest challenges such as climate change.

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