Ongoing research projects


Ongoing research projects in iMMC (July 2020)

This a short description of research projects which are presently under progress in iMMC.
Hereunder, you may select one research direction or choose to apply another filter:

Biomedical engineering

Computational science

Civil and environmental engineering

Dynamical and electromechanical systems


Fluid mechanics

Processing and characterisation of materials

Chemical engineering

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List of projects related to: eletric energy systems

Conducted disturbances in the frequency range 2-150 kHz
Researcher: Caroline Leroi
Supervisor(s): Emmanuel De Jaeger

During last decades, the power grid has changed significantly. The main among various causes of this change is the increasing number of devices using power electronics. These devices include switches with frequency commutation located between 2kHz and 150kHz. Besides the Power Line Carrier (PLC) which is a means of communication using the existing power network works also in this frequency range. Therefore, there is a coexistence of intentional and unintentional emissions in this frequency band while the standardization which is supposed to regulate the emission of the disturbances and the immunity of sensitive devices is currently almost non-existent for this frequency band.
In this context, the aim of this PhD thesis is to contribute to a better understanding of the origin, the propagation and the impact of the disturbances in the frequency range 2-150 kHz. It is important to gather knowledge in order to set appropriate limits in the standards.
Several observations have already been made through measurements in the litterature. However, there is a lack of theoretical explanation. In this thesis, models of disturbances sources are developed as well as models of grid components. These models will allow us to study the propagation and to understand which parameters influence the level of disturbances.
Models are developed in Matlab Simulink environment and more specifically with the SimPowerSystems toolbox. Results will also be validated through experiments.

Researcher: François Henrotte
Supervisor(s): Jean-François Remacle

completed his Engineering Degree in 1991 and his PhD in 2000, both at the University of Liège in Belgium. He then spent 4 years at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and 6 years at the Institut für Elektrische Maschinen in Aachen, Germany, and is now with the UCL and the ULiège. Developer in the open-source packages Gmsh, GetDP and Onelab, he has also developed skills in the multiphysics simulation of electrical machines and drives. His main interests are finite element analysis, numerical modeling, electromechanical coupling, material properties (hysteresis, iron losses, superconductors), applied mathematics (differential geometry, algebraic topology, convex analysis, dual analysis, energy methods), multiscale methods, sensitivity and optimization.

Techno-economic viability of variable-speed pumped-storage hydropower based on centrifugal pumps used as turbines
Researcher: Thomas Mercier
Supervisor(s): Emmanuel De Jaeger

This research takes place in the frame of SmartWater, a 3.5-year research project funded by the Walloon region, Belgium, and whose goal is to investigate the conversion of former mines and quarries into pumped-storage hydropower (PSH) sites, taking advantage of existing cavities. The project involves several academic and industrial partners, among which Laborelec, Electrabel and Cofely, as well as sponsors, including Ores, Elia, Charmeuse and Ensival-Moret. The SmartWater project is divided in several work packages, ranging from the geological study of potential mines and quarries, to the economical and electromechanical aspects of pumped-storage hydropower.

Stability performance analysis and control of islanded microgrids
Researcher: Guy Wanlongo Ndiwulu
Supervisor(s): Emmanuel De Jaeger

Nowadays the discussions about electric energy systems are generally focused on the system reliability and valorisation of renewable energies. Thereby, several means are investigated in order to achieve its goals, among which we have microgrids. These latter are considered as electrical subsystems with distributed energy generators, energy storage devices and loads, able to operate with connection to the main grid or in islanded mode. This electrical system technology is very different compared to the conventional power systems. Because the interfaced power converters based distributed sources characterize them. This is making the microgrid controllability and stability depending of power converters.
The main contribution of this project is to propose a control strategy able to maintain the voltage amplitude and frequency in the allowable range in the cases of islanded microgrids fed by miscellaneous micro-sources (photovoltaic, small hydropower and diesel generator) and energy storage devices such as batteries. The developed control strategy is tested with Matlab/Simulink.

Energy system modelling
Researcher: Gauthier Limpens
Supervisor(s): Hervé Jeanmart

The transition towards more sustainable, fossil-free energy systems is interlinked with a high penetration of stochastic renewables, such as wind and solar.

Integrating these new energy resources and technologies will lead to profound structural changes in energy systems, such as an increasing need for storage and a radical electrifcation of the heating and mobility sectors.

To capture the increasing complexity of such future energy systems, new

flexible and open-source optimization modelling tools are needed.
In collaboration with EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), we develop EnergyScope, a new open-source energy model for strategic energy planning of urban and national energy systems.

We applied our methodolgy to Switzerland and Belgium. During the end of the thesis, we are developping a transition pathway model representing the transition from 2015 until a long term target (such as 2050) with intermediary steps. The technologies merit order and the total cost of the transition will be key results.
In addition, other studies are under investigation (by master thesis or myself) about more countries, a multi-cells versions, an urban version, model coupling (EnergyScope-DispaSET), create an educational interface for citizens and policy makers or apply the model for uncertainty characterisation.

Use of flexibility given by electrical consumers on a pilot distribution grid
Researcher: Didier Forclaz
Supervisor(s): Emmanuel De Jaeger

This research concerns the use of flexibility that can be given by the individual consumers in their electrical consumption. The focus is on integrating renewable energies into the distribution grid.