UKZN Student Wins Best Paper Award at International Conference General

From Left: Prof David Dorrell (Director, Eskom CoE, UKZN), Oluwafemi Oni (MSc student/recipient), Sanjeeth Sewchurran (PhD student) and Professor Inno Davidson (supervisor/co-recipient), all of whom attended the conference.From Left: Prof David Dorrell (Director, Eskom CoE, UKZN), Oluwafemi Oni (MSc student/recipient), Sanjeeth Sewchurran (PhD student) and Professor Inno Davidson (supervisor/co-recipient), all of whom attended the conference.

An MSc student at UKZN, Mr Oluwafemi Oni, has shared an award for the best paper presented at the 5th International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and Application (ICRERA) in Birmingham, England. The paper was titled: “Harmonic Distortion of Line Commutate Converter LCC-HVDC and Voltage Sourced Converter VSC-HVDC Link in Eskom’s Cahora Bassa HVDC Scheme.”

It was supervised and co-authored by Professor Innocent Davidson of Durban University of Technology. 

Said Oni: ‘It was a great opportunity to attend and to win an award at such a prestigious conference was a real bonus. This validates the quality of the research being carried out under the EPPEI programme. Attending this conference also helped me gain further knowledge about futuristic research in the area of renewable energy integration.’

Director of the Centre of Excellence at UKZN’s School of Engineering, Professor David Dorrell, said: ‘The award is a reward for all the hard work he has put in towards his MSc at UKZN. We are looking forward to Oluwafemi continuing his studies through to PhD level as well as his continuing contribution to our Centre of Excellence. He is clearly a high quality student and I congratulate him.’

ICRERA is one of the high quality scientific conferences in the field of renewable energy. It is technically and financially supported by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ communities of the Power Electronics Society, the Industrial Electronics Society and the Industry Applications Society. ICRERA offers opportunities and facilities to participants to not only share their knowledge and recent achievements but also to discuss new ideas with colleagues from many countries.

There were 372 paper submissions received from 46 countries including Turkey, Japan, India, Algeria, United Kingdom, USA, Italy, China, South Africa, Germany, Australia, South Korea, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Denmark, France and Norway.  About 225 of these were accepted. All papers presented at ICRERA in oral and poster sessions have been included in IEEE XPLORE as well as some journals in Thomson Reuters Indexes.

Half of the selected articles presented in ICRERA each year are recommended for the further publication in the following journals:

  • IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
  • IEEE Transactions on Industrial Applications
  • International Journal of Renewable Energy Research
  • Environmental Science and Pollution Research Journal

The conference provided a fantastic opportunity to establish new research collaborations, and to meet and engage with the new engineers in the industry – and help define it!

UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science students presented the following technical papers:

  1. E. Hamatwi, I E Davidson and M N Gitau: “Control of Multi-Level Voltage Source Converters Integrating a Wind Turbine System into the Grid”.
  2. O E Oni and I E Davidson: “Harmonic Distortion of LCC-HVDC and VSC-HVDC Link in Eskom’s Cahora Bassa HVDC Scheme”. (Award winning paper)
  3. S Sewchurran and I E Davidson: “Optimisation and Financial Viability of Landfill Gas to Electricity Projects in South Africa”.
  4. O E Oni, N Parus and I E Davidson: “Voltage Stability Analysis of Eskom Eastern Grid High Voltage Transmission Grid”. 
  5. S Sewchurran and I E Davidson: “Guiding Principles for Grid Code Compliance of Large Utility Scale Renewable Power Plant Integration onto South Africa’s Transmission/Distribution Networks”.

Professor Davidson of the Durban University of Technology said: ‘The words of Eskom’s Interim Group Chief Executive, Matshela Koko, are pertinent here: ‘This award indicates the high level of research conducted under the EPPEI programme which has produced over 100 graduates at MSc and PhD level since its inception in 2012.’

‘As the supervisor and co-recipient of the award, I feel it is an international endorsement of our local research efforts, and also rewards Eskom’s commitment to be at the forefront of renewable technology research. ICRERA is one of the high quality scientific conferences in the area of grid integration of renewable energy using HVDC technologies and power electronics. It is technically and financially supported by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in the United States and offers attendees the opportunities to share their knowledge and recent achievements, as well as discuss new ideas with colleagues from all over the world. The paper has been nominated by ICRERA Technical Committee for publishing in IEEE Transaction on Power Electronics.’

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