CDI – Research engineer in AC/DC power system stability and control for the horizon Europe project HVDC-WISE

Posted 3 weeks ago

SuperGrid Institute brings together 180 employees of 28 different nationalities who work together within a dynamic environment in the city of Lyon. As an independent research and innovation centre, we are dedicated to developing technologies for the future power transmission system, the “SuperGrid”, including HVDC & MVDC technologies.

As a multi-disciplinary research centre with advanced simulation capabilities & multiple test platforms, including numerous associated laboratories, SuperGrid Institute uses its comprehensive expertise to provide a wide range of services and solutions to support our customers in developing power systems, equipment, and components. We specialize in system architecture and work on ensuring network security and stability while allowing for the integration of intermittent renewable energy sources. Find out more by visiting our website:

General Context

Integration of large amount of renewable energy sources (RES) (e.g., offshore wind, PV) and energy market integration are two of the main drivers for the future development of the pan-European power grid. This will require a reinforcement of the transmission grid to make it able to transport large amount of power over long distances from generation areas to load areas. Extended High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) grids, in Point to point or Multi-Terminal (MTDC) configuration covering large areas and distances, are considered to be the preferable solution for the reinforcement of the grid. Indeed, it has been understood that MTDC grids based on voltage source converter (VSC) technology are a key development for harnessing the offshore wind production potential of the North Seas. Those systems will be evolving from simple point to point and radial structures to complex meshed ones. To achieve their development, it is necessary to enhance their operating procedures with major challenges in control and protection. Developing such HVDC systems together with the massive integration of RES, will result in a power system with more and more Power Electronics Interfaced Devices (PEIDs), where AC/DC converters (e.g., VSCs or Modular Multi-level Converters (MMC)) are a key component and have a significant impact on the integrated AC/DC transmission system characteristics (e.g., reduction of the system inertia) and behaviour. Such AC/DC power systems with high integration of RES will be possible only if it can be demonstrated that they are economically viable and that their integrity can be assured under any realistic condition (normal operation and disturbed situation).

Position Context

As part of Horizon Europe projects, HVDC-Wise project explores concepts and proposes solutions to foster the development of large HVDC based transmission grid infrastructures, able to bring benefits in terms of resilience and reliability to the existing electrical system and capable of integrating the forthcoming large amount of renewable energy. Proposing innovative HVDC-based grid architecture concepts (topology, technologies, and operational algorithms), will allow HVDC systems to increase the resilience and reliability (R&R) of AC/DC systems and minimize the impacts of HVDC vulnerabilities. To achieve this goal, a set of expected HVDC functional requirements (such as “firewalls” limiting the impact of disturbances) will be proposed at the beginning of the project based on TSOs’ experience with HVDC, including encountered or expected issues. To meet the functional requirements, innovations will be made in terms of topology, technological components used, and operational algorithms (control and protection functionalities). The HVDC-based grid architecture proposals will be evaluated and compared through techno-economic assessment (TEA) based on proposed metrics on simplified test systems representing specific R&R problems.

Besides coordinating the HVDC-Wise project and leading WP4 “Enabling technologies for future AC/DC hybrid systems”, SuperGrid Institute will also have a major role in WP3 “Concept architectures for reliable and resilient AC/DC systems”. WP3 lays the foundation for the targeted innovation in the project. Intensive research will be performed to identify and propose technological solutions (i.e., controls and protection algorithms as well as HVDC grid configurations) allowing to optimize the benefits of the HVDC in terms of R&R of the AC/DC system. Proof of concepts of the proposed solutions will be performed on simplified test systems for a first evaluation. The solutions proposed in this work package will be further implemented in realistic use cases using industrially relevant environments in WP6 and WP7 as to reach TRL5-6.


Objectives / Missions

Being a member of AC/DC stability team, and under the coordination of the Task/team leader, the candidate’s mission will be within the objectives of Task 3.2 and Task 3.3.

Task 3.2: Control for AC/DC architectures

Control (re)actions occurring during disturbance (firewall-oriented mitigation) period will be evaluated based on RMS and EMT simulations, conducted under a parametric sensitivity analysis. The need of coordinated control will be investigated regarding the transition from the pre-disturbance (prevention) period and towards the post disturbance (recovery) period in order to ascertain ways to manage adaptability and resiliency across the control stages. Finally, the investigated control strategies will be assessed to reflect on their advantages, boundaries, and implementation requirements.

Task 3.3: Protection concepts for AC/DC architectures

Based on EMT simulations, using simplified test systems, the different protection schemes will be evaluated using the criteria defined within the project. Then, novel HVDC-supporting technologies (DC/DC converters and storage devices) will be used to propose novel protection schemes, and their impact on resilience criteria will be assessed. In a next step, novel concepts for the coordination between the proposed DC protection schemes and AC devices as to contain severe incidents for defence against the loss of the AC/DC system integrity will be proposed and evaluated. In a last step, the vulnerabilities of the protection schemes face to cyber-events will be identified, assessed and recommendations to minimise their impact will be provided.

In the last stages of the project, the candidate will participate in the implementation of the developed control and protection strategies into realistic use cases representative of some zones of the European grid with two main objectives: 1) Design the future HVDC reinforcement of these use cases considering the proposed control and protection strategies and 2) Implement the proposed algorithms in the Hardware in the Loop platform as to reach TRL5-6.

Candidate Profile

Engineering degree (Master 2) or PhD degree.

Experience in the field HVDC/MTDC protection system.

Background on AC/DC power system stability

Focus on HVDC systems.

  • Technical skills:
    • Modelling, analysis and control of power systems
    • MMC converter controls
    • Multi-terminal HVDC system control and protection
    • Modelling, and design of protection systems
    • Wide area control systems
  • Technical lead skills:
    • Ability to propose and adjust collaborative approach methodology and decision-making process
    • Ability to structure activities and planning in a pragmatic and efficient manner
    • Excellent synthesis skills.
    • Ability to interact with HVDC and HVDC protection and control experts,
  • Other skills:
    • Good command of English language
    • Ability to lead teamwork
    • Good communication skills
    • Organizational skills

Other information

Titre du poste: Power system control engineer Ref. Budget :
Type de contrat : CDI Durée : na Date de début : October 2022
Qualifications requises : Master 2 or PhD Lieu : Villeurbanne

SuperGrid Institute is an equal opportunities employer. We respect and value the diversity of our employees, their backgrounds and their professional experience. We believe in equality and take affirmative action to ensure that discrimination has no place in our recruitment process nor our company.

Job Features

Contract TypePermanent
Start DateOctober 2022
Qualification requiredMaster's degree / Engineering school / PhD

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