Graduating with distinction

Four MEng Electrical Engineering graduates working in the Centre for Substation Automation and Energy Management Systems (CSAEMS) will graduate summa cum laude tonight.

This means both their examiners awarded them more than 75% in their final assessment.

The four are part of a cohort of 29 Electrical Engineering postgraduate students studying under the supervision of the CSAEMS Centre, a state of the art substation automation laboratory under the directorship of Prof Raynitchka Tzoneva. Created in 2011 the Centre came about because the International Electrical Commission (IEC) put in place the IEC 61850 standards which governs the building, implementation and operations of Substation Automation Systems.

Supervised by Dr Senthil Krishnamurthy, Bwandakassy Cedrick Elenga Baningobera’s thesis “Implementation of an IEC 61850 standard-based harmonic blocking scheme for a power transformer” won him second best presentation at CPUT’s 2018 Postgraduate Conference. The 30-year-old from Brazzaville, Congo wants to continue with his DEng studies to develop a novel protection scheme in the Power Hardware-in-the-Loop simulation environment.

Dr Krishnamurthy also supervised Franck Noudjiep Djiepkop’s thesis: “A feeder reconfiguration scheme with integration of renewable energy sources using a particle swarm optimisation method”. This research focused on the development of solutions for feeder reconfiguration problem to increase the flexibility, reliability and efficiency of electrical distribution systems. Optimising the feeder reconfiguration and distributed energy resources in a distribution network could provide addition power to a grid and improve the operation of the distribution system. Djiepkop is looking for opportunities to pursue further research on a doctoral level.

Supervised by Prof Raynitchka Tzoneva, Ncedo Mguzulwa worked part-time over four years to complete an “Investigation of interoperability of IEC 61850 protection functions”. Mguzulwa, 33, currently works for the City of Cape Town in the Electricity Generation and Distribution Department. He investigated the IEC61850 protocol that allows for communication between protection relays. “Procurement is a big part of engineering, and utilities and municipalities have to be careful and not be locked into one vendor or service provider in order to ensure bids are fair and competitive. Therefore this research evaluated how different vendors and manufacturers of protection relays can be interoperable as the communication protocol has already been standardised,” explained Mguzulwa.

Mukovhe Ratshitanga was also supervised by Tzoneva for his thesis: “Investigation and design of an integrated monitoring, protection and control system of a power reticulation network” which he developed part-time over three years under the CPUT Khula project. Ratshitanga, 35 is currently lecturing at CPUT, assisting with research and development within the CSAEMS and intending to study further. His research showed a reduction in cost on installation, operation and maintenance in substations, if his suggested integration of systems will be implemented on the CPUT reticulation network.

“All four postgraduates implemented the developed in their theses solutions in real-time test beds achieving excellent operation and performance. The high quality and novelty in their theses will be presented by publications in leading recognised journals in the field,” said Tzoneva.

Written by Theresa Smith

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