Public defence in Communications Engineering and Networking Technology, M.Sc.(Tech.) Seppo Borenius

Reliability of the future electric power system might require extensive automation and communications solutions
- Public defence from the Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering, Department of Information and Communications Engineering
Installation of a mobile base station ongoing (on the left); a power grid substation (on the right)

The title of the thesis: Connectivity for smart grids: Novel communications solutions in evolving electrical grids

Doctoral student: Seppo Borenius
Opponents: Prof. Jens Zander, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden and Prof. Mohammed Elmusrati, University of Vaasa, Finland
Custos: Prof. Petri Mähönen, Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering, Department of Information and Communications Engineering 

Increasing electrification and power grid evolution to allow integrating large amounts of renewable generation will be key enablers for creating a sustainable, carbon-neutral energy system. The expected increased demand for electricity will result from efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the industry, heating, and transport sectors. The larger share of intermittent generation from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, as well as the decreasing number of traditional controllable inertia-providing generators will lead to higher system volatility. This volatility challenge is worsened by the lack of seasonal system-level electric energy storage capacity. In distribution grids, the volatility challenge and increased power system dynamics will necessitate expanded automation, which in turn will require enhanced connectivity solutions. 

This thesis contributes first by taking a forward-looking, system-level view in exploring possible power grid futures and then by identifying approaches for integrating electric power grids with Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in these futures. The overall research problem of the thesis is defined as follows: How can communications solutions support the creation of sustainable resilient power grids by the 2030s? The thesis uses Finnish distribution grids as a case example. 

The results of this thesis should help stakeholders, such as actors within the energy and ICT sectors as well as regulators and politicians, to consider alternative futures in order to make correct decisions on which businesses to be in, how to invest until the 2030s, as well as how to ensure the reliability and cost efficiency of the electric power system.

Keywords: Power grids, distribution grids, smart grids, communications, mobile communications, cloud computing, industry architectures, scenario planning, value networks, Delphi survey

Thesis available for public display 10 days prior to the defence at:


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Doctoral theses in the School of Electrical Engineering:

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