Brisbane smart grid a model showcase

An interactive smart grid model of Brisbane designed by university students will be showcased at an automation and power conference in October.

The University of Queensland entry was the winner of ABB Australia’s Smart Grid City Model competition for university engineering students, launched earlier this year.

The model includes distributed energy resources utilising renewable energies, storage, electric vehicles and active houses. It also features automated substations, dynamic pricing, advanced metering infrastructure and real-time communication.

ABB Australia challenged the future leaders in engineering to get creative and demonstrate how they would design an interactive smart grid city model and integrate smart grid technology into an Australian city of their choice. The winner secured a grant to construct their Brisbane city vision model to be displayed at ABB Australia’s upcoming Automation and Power World Australia event at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Queensland.

The university competition was introduced to help enhance the skills of students by introducing them to the power and automation technologies they may work with in the future. At the close of submissions, each Smart Grid City Model entry was reviewed by an ABB Australia judging panel that analysed key features of their concepts, including: design and aesthetics; proposed use of smart grid technologies; and overall construction feasibility.

ABB Australia manager Axel Kuhr said the University of Queensland’s submission stood out from the other entries.

“We are proud to showcase it for customers and guests at Automation and Power World Australia in October. Their design demonstrated through model concept and simulation how smart grids could deliver Brisbane a stable, secure, efficient and sustainable power network,” he said.

The winning entry was prepared by University of Queensland students John Puckett and Henry Wang with Professor Tapan Saha acting as the supervisor.

“This was an excellent opportunity for the students to immerse themselves in a real-world future application and allows them the opportunity to work with and explore ABB’s leading-edge smart grid technologies,” Professor Saha said.