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Technical Knowledge Evening – Developments in System Harmonics

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The proliferation of power electronic devices is resulting in new challenges within the power quality area. One topic that has seen an increased level of attention within the power quality area is harmonic distortions.

Traditionally, harmonics have been dealt with at the planning stage and mainly at transmission level in detail. That trend continues today with an increased emphasis on all connections that include power electronic converters. However, it is not simply the sheer amount of increased connections that is driving this enhanced level of attention. The equipment being introduced as well as the system itself, is changing. In the past, harmonic injections were confined to a few characteristic harmonics, but this is no longer the case. With renewable generation technologies utilising inverter-based grid connection characteristics, it is quite common to see harmonic injections at a wider harmonic spectrum. The system is also changing with the addition of an increased share of cable circuits bringing the system resonant frequencies to the lower end of the frequency spectrum.

Standards, technical recommendation and/or industry guidance documents that are being relied upon are becoming outdated and require updating to accommodate this increased contribution. Furthermore, the need to plan the system, such that the contribution from many sources is minimized, is increasing – not just at transmission level, but also in distribution systems due to the increased integration of distributed resources.

The subject matter of the talk is going to be development/state of the art in harmonics with four subject matter experts reflecting from their experience in working with harmonics.

To register for this event click here

Presentation and Discussion Topics:

  • Introductory talk on harmonics to provide a basic overview of the subject matter, historical treatment of various types of connections, types of harmonic studies and/or calculations, why the industry should be concerned about harmonics, what is being done and where, do we see any international trends, is the industry late in starting to deal with harmonic distortions, what is being done at standardisation level? The presentation and discussion will be led by PSC’s Dr Zia Emin.
  • The second talk will be on the application of the international standard (or rather the technical report adopted as standard by many countries) IEC 61000-3-6, and the difficulties faced in its application in complying with harmonic distortions by the TSOs that adopted the approach. This talk will concentrate on specific experiences of the Irish TSO, the difficulties of applying a methodology that provides relatively small emission limits, what can be done to alleviate these issues and how the standardization should take these into account in future revisions. The presentation and discussion will be led by a representative from EirGrid (Marta Val Escudero).
  • The third talk will concentrate on how the UK industry has taken the case of increased penetration of renewables and its impact on the system harmonics and how it went about revising the applicable industry recommendation to cover new areas and change the approach of allocated limits. The audience will be able to understand what is changing with the new standardization, what it brings and how that may impact the various connectees. This talk and discussion will be led by a representative of a UK transmission owner, who have been dealing with such system modelling issues and have first-hand understanding of the impact the changes will bring and what is going to change. (Dr Forooz Ghassemi)
  • The last talk takes the matter into distribution territory where quite a lot of changes are being observed. The talk will initially give an overview of the harmonic distortions from a distribution system level, before moving into active filtering. Development, both now and in the past, has been based on passive shunt mitigation measures when issues are encountered. However, with an increased number of inverter-based technologies, especially at distribution level, the possibility of changing the source of harmonic injecting devices into an opportunity where they can be utilized as active filters is gaining momentum. This talk will explore that angle and give the full background on an ongoing project where this is being tackled. The talk will be led by a distribution system engineer from Western Power Distribution, who is working actively on the harmonic mitigation via active filters project. (Chris Harrap).


The talks will be followed by a networking session with light buffet and drinks.

Kindly sponsored by PSC.



Picture 1

Ms Marta Val Escudero is a Consultant Engineer in EirGrid. She received BE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Zaragoza (Spain) in 1994 and MPhil from the University of Bath (UK) in 2007. From 1997 to 2007 she was with ESB International (Ireland), working as a consultant in the area of power system modelling and analysis.Since 2007 she has been with EirGrid working in the Operations, Planning and Innovation Department. She is currently Team Lead in Innovation. Her main areas of responsibility include: (i) provision of support to Grid Controllers in relation to the on-line dynamic security assessment tool (WSAT) as well as maintenance of the dynamic models within the tool, and (ii) development of new decision support tools for the Control Centers in Dublin and Belfast to facilitate integration of non-synchronous renewable generation levels in excess of 65% SNSP combined with high values of RoCoF, in excess of 1 Hz/s.

Picture 2

Dr Forooz Ghassemi received his Ph.D. degree from City University, London, U.K., in 1989. He has since been working in academia, manufacturing and utility sectors, all related to power system engineering. He is currently working for National Grid Electricity Transmission. He is involved in the connection of new grid users and setting design policies and specifications related to security and quality of supply. He is the named inventor of two patents, a Chartered Engineer in U.K., and Fellow of IET.


Picture 3

Mr Chris Harrap is currently an Innovation and Low Carbon Networks Engineer at Western Power Distribution. Chris has extensive experience of electrical energy sector covering generation and distribution, having joined the industry in 1990. This has been accumulated from a variety of maintenance, operational and management roles in coal and gas power stations in the UK and in Portugal; and in asset management roles with UK distribution businesses. In addition, Chris has also worked within an engineering consultancy advising clients on a number of distributed energy schemes.  Most recently, Chris’ focus has returned to project engineering and project management, leading innovation work and projects.  This has included the FALCON project (techniques aimed at improving electricity distribution network capacity); Losses Investigation (assessing feeder specific HV and LV feeder technical losses); and most recently projects trialling alternative LV fault location equipment, and mitigation of harmonics.

Picture 4

Dr Zia Emin received his PhD degree from The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom in 1997. He has worked as a specialist power system engineer with many years of experience in power quality and switching studies initially with National Grid and later with Parsons Brinckerhoff (later WSP) and PSC. He has extensive knowledge in all aspects of power system modelling including steady-state, frequency and time domain modelling and substantial experience in harmonic performance specification for HVDC converter stations, renewable generation connections and the connection of traction supply points. He is a Fellow of the IET, a Senior Member of IEEE, a Distinguished Member of CIGRE and a Chartered Engineer in the United Kingdom. He is the Chairman of CIGRE Study Committee C4 Power System Technical Performance.


New Working Groups

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The following working groups have been announced: 


New Working Group Members Required JWG D1-B1-75


New Working Group Members Required B5.71


New Working Group Members Required B3.58


New Working Group Members Required C3.22 and B1.73

CIGRE UK Technical Events

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CIGRE UK B4 Liaison Meeting 

Monday 20th January 2020 | 11.30 – 17.00
WSP at The Mailbox – Birmingham



CIGRE UK members are activity engaged in support of Study Committee B4 (see Mission and Fields of Activity below) and its Working Groups.  This UK liaison meeting, kindly hosted by WSP at its offices in Birmingham, is an opportunity to understand the progress that has been made in a selection of Working Groups and hear from two guest speakers, both immersed in this field.  This is not only a technically rich event but also a great networking opportunity!

Please note that this is a CPD accredited event and certificates will be made available on request.


B4 Study Committee Mission

To facilitate and promote the progress of engineering and the international exchange of information and knowledge in the field of DC and power electronics. To add value to this information and knowledge by means of synthesising state-of-the-art practices and developing recommendations.

 Technological Field of Activity

  • Direct Current equipment and systems including converter technology and semi-conductor devices.
  • Power electronics for AC systems and power quality improvement, advanced power electronics and applications.

To register for the event click here


11:30 – 13:00      Registration, Lunch and Networking

13:00 – 13:10.     Safety notice, CIGRE Compliance Guide, Introduction

13:10 – 13:40.     Guest Speaker – Norman MacLeod, WSP

13:40 – 15:00.      Working Group Update Session 1

15:00 – 15:20.     Refreshment Networking

15:25 – 15:45.     Guest Speaker – Chris Smith, National Grid

15:45 – 16:30.     Working Group Update Session 2

16:30.                 Closing Remarks/Summary

17:00.                 Close

Working Group Update Sessions

C2/B4.38 – Capabilities and requirements definition for Power Electronics based technology for secure and efficient system operation and control: Chris Smith

B4-64 – Impact of AC System Characteristics on the Performance of HVDC Schemes: Robin Preece

B4.68 – Revision of Technical Brochure 92 – DC Harmonics and Filtering: Nigel Shore

B4-71 – Application guide for the insulation coordination of Voltage Source Converter HVDC (VSC HVDC) stations: Amit Kumar

B4-72 – DC grid benchmark models for system studies: Jun Liang

B4-74 – Guide to Develop Real-Time Simulation Models (RTSM) for HVDC Operational Studies: Ziming Song

B4-75 – Feasibility Studies for assessment of lab losses measurement of VSC valves: Colin Davidson

TF B4-77 – AC Fault response options for VSC HVDC Converters: Carl Barker for John Gleadow

B4.81 – Interaction between nearby VSC-HVDC converters, FACTs devices, HV power electronic devices and conventional AC equipment: Omar Jasim

To register for the event click here

Speaker Profiles

Dr Norman MacLeod: Guest Speaker


Dr Norman MacLeod studied at the University of Strathclyde, UK, from where he received his BSc and PhD degrees.  He joined Alstom Grid (now GE) in 1976 to work in the Power Transformer division and transferred to the HVDC division in 1981.  Dr Macleod held many posts within Alstom Grid, including Systems Engineering Director and Technology Director.  In 2012 he joined the consultancy firm Parsons Brinckerhoff (now WSP), where he is the Director of the Interconnectors department.  Dr MacLeod is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the IET (UK) and a Member of the IEEE (USA).  He is an active member of CIGRE and received the Distinguished Member award in 2014.  Dr MacLeod is a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Leeds and Cardiff in the UK.

Dr Chris Smith: Guest Speaker and C2/B4.38 presenter


Dr Chris Smith is presently employed as a technical specialist within National Grid Ventures.  He has been directly involved in the development of a NEMO link, North Sea Link, IFA2 and Viking Link Interconnectors.  Prior to joining National Grid he was a Strategic Growth Technology Leader at GE Power Conversion focusing on HV and MV DC applications.  He has also previously held technical and project management roles in Power Generation and Manufacturing industries.

Dr Robin Preece: B4-64


Dr Robin Preece is a Senior Lecturer in Future Power Systems in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Manchester, where he has been an academic since July 2014. Since then, he has helped to secure over £4 million in funding for the University of Manchester.  Dr Preece has published more than 60 international peer-reviewed publications, has presented his research at major international conferences hosted by the IET, IEEE, IFAC, and Cigré, and is actively involved in numerous international working groups on the stability of future power systems.

Dr Nigel Shore: B4-68


Dr. Shore graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1973, then completed a Ph.D. on “Minicomputer Control of HVDC Converters” at Imperial College, London, in 1976. After several years with UK consultants as a power system analyst, he moved to Brazil to work on the Itaipu HVDC project, first for Promon Engenharia then ASEA. His positions included main circuit design, control group manager, site commissioning manager and system  test co-ordinator.  From 1986-1989 he was a design engineer in ASEA/ABB Sweden, engaged on harmonic analysis and filter design. In 1989, he relocated to England  to work remotely for ABB Ludvika. Since then he has been responsible for harmonic studies and filter design in very many of ABB’s HVDC projects and tenders, along with developing software tools and design methodologies, and mentoring.  He has been active in IEEE and IEC, and within CIGRE he has participated in eight Working Groups, four of which as Convenor. He received the Technical Committee Award in 2014. Dr. Shore is a Senior Member of IEEE and a Member of the IET.

Prof Jun Liang: B4-72


Prof. Jun Liang from Cardiff University has over 27 years’ experience in high voltage DC (HVDC) transmission, power electronic converter control, power system stability operation and control. He currently leads a research group in power electronics and HVDC for renewable power generation and transmission. He has obtained research funding over £10 M, including £5 M external funding in 20 projects. In particular, he is the Coordinator and Scientist-in-Charge of two EC Marie-Curie Action ITN/ETN projects: MEDOW (€3.9M) and InnoDC (€3.89M). He has published over 180 papers including 90 journal papers, 1 book in IEEE/Wiley, and 4 book chapters. He has supervised 28 PhD students with 16 of them graduated so far. The research in DC grids for offshore wind power is at the world leading position.  He is an IET Fellow, the Chair of UK&RI Chapter of IEEE Power Electronics Society, Vice Chair of IEEE PELS Region 8 committee promoting IEEE membership, an Organising Committee member of the IET ACDC conferences, a committee member of several CIGRE Working Groups, the Technical Secretary of the CIGRE WG B4-60, C6/B4-37, an Editorial Board Member of CSEE JPES, a Guest Editor of IEEE Transaction on Power Delivery, a Chair of the European HVDC PhD Colloquium, and technical committee members of several international Conferences. He has been appointed as an Adjunct Professor at Changsha University of Science and Technology of China, Northeast China Electric Power University, and North China Electric Power University.

Amit Kumar: B4-71


Amit Kumar, received B.Tech degree in Electrical Engineering from YMCA Institute of Engineering Faridabad, India in 2009 and an M.Tech. degree in Power System from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India in 2011.  Presently he works as ‘Team Leader – HVDC System Design Engineering’ in HVDC Centre of Excellence, in GE, Stafford, United Kingdom. He has been with GE since 2013 and his area of expertise includes Main Circuit Design, Insulation Co-ordination and Harmonic Filter Design for LCC and VSC HVDC System.  He has worked as a domain engineer in Distribution Automation R&D group of ABB corporate research centre, India from 2011 to 2013. Amit has several patents filed in ABB & GE and contributed in papers in international conferences/seminars

Colin Davidson: B4-75


Colin Davidson is Consulting Engineer – HVDC, at GE Grid Solutions HVDC Activity, whose Centre of Excellence is in Stafford, UK.  He joined the company in January 1989, when it was part of GEC, and progressed through the positions of trainee Thyristor Valve Design engineer; manager, Thyristor Valves; engineering director and R&D Director, to his current role. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and has served on several IEC standardisation committees for HVDC and FACTS. He has a degree in natural sciences, specialising in physics, from the University of Cambridge.

Ziming Song: B4-74


Ziming Song received a B.Eng. (Hons) from Lanzhou University of Technology, China, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Strathclyde, UK in 1982 and 1989 respectively.  From 1989 to 1996, he was an engineer and then senior engineer with the GE Grid, Stafford, UK. From 1998 to 2014, he was with the National Grid as a senior engineer and then technical specialist. Currently, he is a chief specialist on the HVDC with Toshiba International (Europe) in the UK. He served as the chair of the VLPGO WG5 and has been working on the technical committee of the IET ACDC conference for several years. He was invited to several international power conferences as the keynote speaker. He is a chartered electrical engineer in the UK, a Fellow of the IET, and a visiting professor at Lanzhou University of Technology. His professional interests include the HVDC, FACTS, power grid analysis and operation and renewable energy grid connection.

Carl Barker: B4-77


Carl Barker holds a B.Eng from Staffordshire Polytechnic and a M.Sc. from Bath University in the UK.  He joined GE’s Grid Solutions in Stafford, UK in 1989, initially working on the design and development of individual HVDC and SVC projects then becoming System Design Manager, responsible for all technical aspects of HVDC projects.  He is, at present, a Consulting Engineer within the business providing technical support across many activities.  Carl is a Chartered Engineer in the UK and a member of the IET (UK), a Senior Member of the IEEE, the regular member for CIGRE B4 for the UK and an honorary visiting professor at Cardiff University.

Dr Omar Jasim: B4-81


Dr Omar Jasim received a B.Sc and M.Sc from University of Technology, Baghdad, Iraq in 1998 and 2001 respectively. He received the CTES Chevening Technology Enterprise Scholarship delivered by London Business School, Imperial Collage London and University of Cambridge, UK and received a PhD degree in fault tolerant variable speed drives from University of Nottingham, UK in 2009.

His skill and expertise range from Core converter control in Power Electronics through to High Voltage Engineering, Network Protection and Control. Management

In recent years he been part of activities that show experience in designing control algorithms of HVDC converter topologies and technologies. He has extensive experience in control design for Power systems. He has provided career and competence development of team members, inclusive of coaching, mentoring and training. He has filed over 35 Patents and 20 publications and has been heavily involved in HVDC VSC project delivery such as DolWin3, South West and France-Italy projects.

To register for the event click here

This event is kindly hosted by WSP