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Smart grid systems

Research Smart grid systems with The Open University

Spurred by the recent and ongoing growth of renewable generation in the electricity system there is much current interest in ‘smart’ electricity distribution grids. System smartness will allow for time-shifting of electricity demand and in the future will better incorporate electricity and other energy storage systems. In this way a smart and renewables-based electricity system promises to deliver low-carbon electricity. What, however, will these changes imply for electricity system reliability? This aspect is a key focus of our research interest. 

The Open University has had a leadership role in a major HEFCE funded initiative known as MK:Smart

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 in a technical discipline, electrical power system engineering preferred

Potential research projects

One proposed project seeks, in particular, to understand short-term grid security issues (initiating issues of duration less than 1 second). This project will involve an understanding of issues from electrical power engineering, such as reactive power and whole system inertia. The project will be largely desk based and in the spirit of technology and policy (i.e. the overlap of science and technology with energy policy) research. 

Current/recent research projects

  • George Matthew, System dynamics of smart grid development and utilization, PhD research since October 2013

Potential supervisors

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Professor William J. Nuttall
+44 (0)1908 655113

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.