Smart grids and integration 

Large scale integration of renewable distributed generation into the power grid has significant potential to both reduce carbon dioxide emissions and provide secure and resilient power. The current UK grid is largely a one way system with power generated in large power stations and distributed through transmission and distribution lines, with no storage capability.


The current system requires power generators to provide excess generation capacity to meet peak demands. The alternative is to develop smart grid systems which integrate power generation and storage through an intelligent communication system. 

The Power and Control Group at the University of Birmingham is involved in a wide range of research activity including:

  • Technologies for smart grids 
  • Application of power electronics such as FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission System) and
  • HVDC in transmission and distribution systems
  • Integration of PHEVs into power grids
  • Super AC/DC power grids for large scale renewable energy delivery
  • Protection and control of distribution networks with distributed generation
  • Micro-generation and Micro-grid
  • Smart metering and wide area monitoring and awareness
  • Power system economics 
  • Large scale power system optimisation and planning
  • Analysis and control of power system stability
  • Power quality and harmonics


  • Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang (Chair in Electrical Power Systems)
  • Dr X. Bai
  • Dr Z. Wu
  • Mr D. Kong
  • Mrs Z. Lin


The University of Birmingham has advanced and unique facilities funded by Advantage West Midlands (AWM) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the Birmingham Science City initiative - are being used to further the understanding of the operation, control and management of smart grid systems powered by energy from distributed sources. 

The facilities include two labs:

  • Real-time Power Grid Simulation, measurements, Control and Protection Lab.
  • Smart Power Grid Lab


  1. X-P Zhang, C Rehtanz, B C Pal, Flexible AC Transmission Systems: Modelling and Control, ISBN 3-540-30606-4, Monograph, Springer Power Systems Series, 383 pages, Springer, March 2006.
  2. X-P Zhang, Restructured Electric Power Systems: Analysis of Electricity Markets with Equilibrium Models, ISBN: 978-0-470-26064-7, IEEE Press/Wiley. 330 pages, June 2010.
  3. F. Wu, X. P. Zhang, P. Ju, and M. J. H. Sterling, “Optimal Control for the AWS based Wave Energy Conversion System,” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 24, no. 4, Nov. 2009, pp. 1747-1755.
  4. F. Wu, X.-P. Zhang and P. Ju, “Small signal stability analysis and control of the wind turbine with the direct-drive permanent magnet generator integrated to the power grid,” Journal of Electric Power Systems Research, vol. 79, no. 12, December 2009, pp. 1661-1667.
  5. F. Wu, X. P. Zhang, P. Ju, M.J.H. Sterling, “Modeling and Control of AWS based Wave Energy Conversion System Integrated into Power Grid”, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 23, no. 3, August 2008, pp. 1196 – 1204.
  6. F. Wu, X.-P. Zhang, P. Ju, M.J.H. Sterling, “Decentralized Nonlinear Control of Wind Turbine with Doubly Fed Induction Generator,” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 23, no. 2, May 2008, pp. 613 - 621.
  7. S. G. Petoussis, A. G. Petoussis, X.-P. Zhang, K.R. Godfrey , “Impact of the Transformer Tap-Ratio Control on The Electricity Market Equilibrium “ , IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 23, no.1, February 2008, pp. 65 - 75.
  8. F. Wu, X.-P. Zhang, K. Godfrey, P. Ju, “Small Signal Analysis and Optimal Control of a Wind Turbine with Doubly Fed Induction Generator”, IET - Generation, Transmission and Distribution, vol. 1, no. 5, September 2007, pp. 751-760.
  9. S. Petoussis, X.-P. Zhang, K. Godfrey, "Electricity Market Equilibrium Analysis based on Nonlinear Interior Point Algorithm with Complementary Constraints," IET - Generation, Transmission and Distribution, vol. 1, no. 4, July 2007, pp. 603-612.
  10.  X.-P. Zhang, “Robust Modeling of the Interline Power Flow Controller and the Generalized Unified Power Flow Controller with Small Impedances in Power Flow Analysis,” Electrical Engineering (Archiv für Electrotechnik), vol. 89, no. 1, 2007, pp. 1-9
  11. X.-P. Zhang, C. Rehtanz, Y. Song, (Invited Article) "A Grid for Tomorrow," IET Power Engineer, Oct/Nov 2006, pp. 22-27.
  12. C.-F. Xue, X.-P. Zhang, K.R. Godfrey, “Design of STATCOM Damping Control with Multiple Operating Points: A Multi-model LMI Approach”, IEE Proc. - Generation, Transmission and Distribution, vol. 153, no. 4, July 2006, pp. 375-382
  13. X.-P. Zhang, P. Ju, E.J. Handschin, “Continuation Three-Phase Power Flow: A Tool for Voltage Stability Analysis of Unbalanced Three-Phase Power Systems,” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 20, no. 3, Aug 2005, pp.1320 – 1329
  14. X.-P. Zhang, “Multiterminal Voltage-Sourced Converter Based HVDC Models for Power Flow Analysis”, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 18, no. 4, 2004, pp.1877-1884