The paradigm of the power system is changing: aside from the fact that we will mostly get electricity from renewable energy sources in the future, electricity consumers will no longer be passive but instead active consumers. In light of this, our researchers presented our so-called ''smart kitchen'' (a household that stores, consumes and produces energy on its own) on the Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT) show titled Prometej. This type of household actively participates in balancing the power system! The smart kitchen is integrated into the Demand Response Laboratory (DR Lab) and is comprised of electricity consumers just like any other household. It is connected to solar panels (which we recently wrote about) on the roof of FER. In addition to these panels, there is an electric vehicles charging station as well as a battery energy storage that is stationary and can be charged and discharged as needed. Our researchers are also working on developing an application to manage all of these devices which are connected to WiFi.
Here, you can watch the entire short documentary and hear from part of the project team, including professor Hrvoje Pandžić, Marija Miletić, Nikolina Čović and Bruno Malbašić: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfGJcHGObV8&feature=youtu.be
Bravo for this big step in the development of infrastructure that will contribute to researching technologies for decarbonisation in the power sector!
Our professor Igor Kuzle has won the "Rikard Podhorsky" award of the Croatian Academy of Engineering! Professor Kuzle has significantly contributed to the scientific and professional advancement in the application of various concepts of smart grid management. These concepts are aimed at increasing the flexibility and efficiency of power systems which are under conditions of uncertainty created by mass integration of renewable energy sources. Congratulations! :)
Professor Grgić was hosted on the HRT television show titled Druga Strana where he gave an interview on the topic: ''Are nuclear power plants becoming socially acceptable?''
The entire interview can be viewed here.
We are proud to announce that our retired professor Sejid Tešnjak mentored his 23rd doctoral student through a successful thesis defense. Last month, Vladimir Valentić from HOPS (the Croatian Transmission System Operator) defended his thesis titled "An independent electricity producer with a built-in system for reducing carbon dioxide emissions". Congratulations to both Vladimir (in photo above) and his mentor!
Our young assistants and professors ended this year in the best possible way 😊 Research papers by Matija Kostelac and Mirna Gržanić were published in the prestigious journals Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (IF: 14.982) and Applied Energy (IF: 9.746). These journals are among the best and most respected in the field of energy. Mirna's article is titled "Prosumers as active market participants: A systematic review of evolution of opportunities, models and challenges", while Matija's article is titled "Uncertainty modelling of an industry facility as a multi-energy demand response provider". Both of our colleagues conducted their research within the IMAGINE project lead by FER's professor Tomislav Capuder and funded by the Hrvatska zaklada za znanost (Croatian Science Foundation) and HEP ODS.
Bravo, rock on guys! 😊
This year, we can proudly say that the ZVNE has the most beautifully decorated Christmas tree! First, our "big" helpers assembled the tree stand, attached and spread out the branches and then set up the tree in the hallway. Then, on Sunday after enjoying the Saint Nicolas theatrical show at FER, our "little" helpers came to add a bit of their own magic which gave us the final product which you can see in the photos. Thanks kids. You're great! ❤
Every year in late November our Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) gives a number of awards at the annual FER Day celebration and our department is proud to have received several notable awards.
A Bronze Plaque ‘’Josip Lončar’’ was awarded to our recently graduated Masters student Otto Heide, who launched his career at the Croatian Transmission System Operator (HOPS Ltd.). Our PhD students who graduated in 2021, Zora Luburić, Kristina Pandžić and Ivan Pavić, received the Silver Plaques ‘’Josip Lončar’’ for extraordinary PhD theses. Only five such awards were given this year and our exceptional researchers received three of them! All three awarded PhDs were defended according to the so-called Scandinavian system, as they all published three or more papers in renowned research journals.
Furthermore, FER awarded our assistant professor Božidar Filipović-Grčić the science award for outstanding research results in the last five years, while our Smart Grid Lab (SGLab) headed by professor Igor Kuzle received the award for the laboratory with the most internationally recognized group of researchers at FER. Finally, this year’s best PhD student in the power systems PhD program is Matej Krpan who was awarded the Frano Luetić award.
This year, aside from attendees from scientific, educational, economic and military institutions, the ceremony was also attended by esteemed guests from the government, including the President of the Republic of Croatia Zoran Milanović, the State Secretary at the Central State Office for the Development of Digital Society Bernard Gršić, and the Mayor of the City of Zagreb Tomislav Tomašević who addressed the audience at the beginning of the event. The dean of FER, Gordan Gledec, PhD, also gave an impressive and memorable keynote speech in which he emphasized the need to stimulate entrepreneurship, especially startups, innovation and research.
The Department of Energy and Power Systems is grateful to have been able to support the works of its highly recognized faculty and staff and it is exceptionally proud of their achievements!
Link to the video recording of the event: youtu.be/JcQxhm_dVvU
Photos from the event can be found below.
We are proud to announce that our doctoral student Matej Krpan has been awarded the "Frano Luetić" award for the year 2020/2021 by the FER faculty council for excellence in postgraduate studies in the field of electrical power engineering.
Matej earned this award for coauthoring 14 journal papers (of which 10 are Q1/Q2) and 13 conference papers (of which 3 received excellent paper awards), for peer-reviewing more than 60 papers for renowned journals and conferences, and for more than 30 industrial studies for electric utility companies and private investors during his 5 years at the FER - Department of Energy and Power Systems.
Congratulations Matej! Keep up the good work!
The "Frano Luetić" award was established in 2019 on the initiative of the Luetić family who also donate the monetary prize to award winners. Previous winners are now postdoctoral researchers at our Department, Ivan Pavić (2019/2020) and Ninoslav Holjevac (2018/2019).
The 15th Croatian CIGRE Session was held on November 7 - 10, 2021. Besides an opportunity to catch up with long-time colleagues and embracing new ideas, our Department of Energy and Power Systems was well represented with 21 papers! All the papers were presented by our young #esearchers and well accepted within the audience. We are happy to contribute to a collaborative global community committed to the world's leading knowledge development programme for creating and sharing power system expertise. List of our presentations can be found below.
We’ll see you next year at the Croatian CIGRE 15th Symposium on Power System Operation!
On November 12, 2021, Mateo Beus successfully defended his thesis "Model predictive control in hydro turbine power control" under the Scandinavian model after publishing three papers in JCR journals. Members of his PhD committee were prof. Mato Baotic (UNIZG-FER), prof. Andrej Jokić (UNIZG-FSB), prof. Igor Kuzle (UNIZG-FER). Mateo was a teaching assistant during his studies and now he is a postdoc with UNIZG-FER.
Congrats, Mateo, keep on the great work! :)
Our professor Željko Tomšić gave an interview to Bosnia and Herzegovina Radio 1 on October 22, 2021. He talked about nuclear energy and its status worldwide as well as addressing plans of Croatia and Slovenia to build a new nuclear power plant. The entire broadcast is available here.
On the 21st and 22nd of October, fifty of FER's 1st to 5th year students visited the hydro power plant (HPP) Jaruga inside the Krka National Park, HPP Zakučac, HPP Prančevići, the Prančevići dam, HPP Kraljevac and the wind power plant Voštane-Kamensko together with its substation.
This trip was organized through the PowerTrip project which aims to promote Croatia's beautiful nature, low-carbon technology and sustainability and the field of electric power engineering. The PowerTrip project is coorganized by KSET, the Department of energy and power systems and the Croatian chapter of IEEE PES. The 50 students were accompanied by Matej Krpan and Marija Miletić, research & teaching assistants at the Department.
HPP Jaruga is one of the oldest hydroelectric power plants in the world, while HE Zakučac is the largest Croatian power plant and HPP Kraljevac is a living museum where large, old Ganz turbine-generators can still be seen.
We thank our hosts HEP-Proizvodnja and ENCRO for showing us these facilities and for enabling the students to learn more about electric power generation and high-voltage technology.
Take a look below at some of the moments from our awesome trip!
The laboratory is designed as an active household consisting of a series of devices (battery stack, electric vehicle charger and numerous household appliances) whose electricity consumption is managed in order to respond to signals from an aggregator or a power system operator.
Within the DRLab, two projects are being implemented that deal with the demand response from smart households (ANIMATION - HRZZ) and the development of prototypes of connected stationary battery energy storage systems (USBSE - EFRR). Both projects are fully in line with the new power system paradigm according to which current passive electricity customers will become active power system participants.
More information about FER’s new research lab and a few photos can be found below.
Namely, given the increase in the share of renewable energy sources, there are increasingly more non-controllable electricity generators in the system (wind and solar power plants) and the balancing of the system is shifting to the consumption side. It is, therefore, important to act in two directions: to awaken the market for the demand response for households and activate their flexibility and to develop energy storage systems for storing energy from renewable energy sources.
Active consumers who can move their consumption over time, so that it coincides with production from renewable energy sources, are key to a very high share of electricity production from renewable sources and consequently for the sustainable development of modern society. Because of their controllable devices, active consumers can manage their consumption and change their load profiles. Although these devices have relatively small individual powers, their aggregation can achieve great potential in terms of demand response programs.
On Saturday, October 23, 2021, 70 primary-school students accompanied by 12 group leaders visited the Smart Grid Laboratory at FER as part of the RADDAR program. Doctoral students Mateo Beus and Marija Čuljak showed the students a hydroelectric power plant including all subsystems, battery systems, a charging station for electric vehicles and explained the concept of the entire laboratory as well as the power system in general. Following this, the students paid a visit to the Demand Response Lab where prof. Hrvoje Pandzic presented to them what their smart homes will look like in the future. In addition to showing great interest and curiosity for these topics, our future power system engineers gave us some very innovative suggestions on how to improve the lab. Of course, we invited them to help us turn these ideas into reality!
We are proud to announce that and researchers from our department, together with Invento Capital Partners, the North West Croatia Regional Energy Agency (REGEA) and Hrvatski Telekom, have been awarded with the national EIT Urban mobility hub. This way we will be able to support the local innovation ecosystem and start-ups and we will boost innovations in urban mobility.
It's time to make Croatian innovative technologies available to the wider, interntional market.
Our team will be led by professor Tomislav Capuder.
We look forward to new projects and #collaborations and believe that decarbonization of the transportation sector is one of the key aspects of the energy transition. Feel free to contact us if you have questions or collaboration ideas or if you are interested in working with us. You can also find some of our recent published EV research here:
As part of a panel discussion on solar technologies in Croatia held at the Sunny Days conference in Hvar recently, our post-doctoral researcher Ninoslav Holjevac from the Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing gave a presentation titled ''Solar potential in Croatia in terms of integration into the grid and beyond''.
Holjevac gave an overview of the current situation in Croatia, the development of a system for a better future and solutions for the solar and green transition. "We have reached the point where we must take urgent action. The energy transition is unquestionable. We need it. However, the grid is limited and the one we are currently using was built many years ago; its current capacity is close to being maximized," Holjevac warned. He added that solar energy has not had a dynamic development like wind energy, but this is now certainly changing." All of this together represents a significant increase in demand on the transmission and distribution system. A ‘highway’ must be built which will also enable the integration of large solar panels. We need to take action today in order to overcome problems on time,'' said Holjevac.
He pointed out the significant potential of the Sun in Croatia where there are many locations with 2,500 or more hours of sunshine, noting that we have not yet taken advantage of this: ''There is still a lack of solar panels from Zadar to Dubrovnik; there are too few rooftops solar panels; and there aren't enough solar collectors. There is also a lack of experience needed in order to begin more active project implementation," he said.
Speaking further about problems and opportunities, he noted summer as being a critical period. During peak season, solar panels contribute minimally because the problem with power supply takes place between 9:30 pm and 10:30 pm: “Solar panels are not a solution for grid problems for the period between June to September. Solar energy is great for energy transition as it is inexpensive energy, but we still can’t do without the grid. We need both a grid and solar panels and it is no coincidence that one relies on the other. Batteries and similar technologies help, but to a limited extent. We still can't do without the grid. It will be needed, even with an increase of solar panels on roofs."
He also mentioned the long process of developing the power grid – a 400 kV project lasts 10 years. He stressed that there is an enormous number of requests for connection and the system must keep up with these requests. "The development of the power grid is essential for the continuation of the green transition and the rise of large solar panels. Solar panels will contribute to the problem but will also resolve the problem. I am convinced that from a technical standpoint, things will be solvable. These are all opportunities. They are also in agro solars while the significant pilot project ‘Slavonia’ is unused. Certain surfaces can also benefit from floating solars and, additionally, solar panels are not affected by polluted surfaces. Also, there is opportunity in hydrogen, which is one of the pillars of the energy transition,'' Holjevac listed all the potentials of solar panels.
Finally, he concluded that the development of the system, primarily a 400 kV grid, is needed for further integration of a significant share of solar panels, as well as optimal use of the current capacity and opportunities provided by solutions that are lower in capital and less time intensive. Among other things, changes in the current system, the legislation and the rules are necessary. "We need to develop a dialogue among all stakeholders and move towards a green and sunny future," Holjevac said.
Lucija Matulin, a student of the Department of Energy and Power Systems, won the Rector's Award for her work entitled "Development and implementation of SCADA system simulator for microgrid laboratory" in the category of individual scientific and artistic works. Lucija designed the architecture and implemented a simulation tool to simulate the operation of the SCADA system in the Smart Gird Lab (SGLab) laboratory. This tool has greatly facilitated the work with the laboratory microgrid in Covid conditions and has great potential for upgrading in terms of a more realistic simulation of real network conditions, adding new electrical parameters and use outside the laboratory environment. The research and development was carried out as part of the activities of the project of the Croatian Science Foundation project IMAGINE under the mentorship of associate professor Tomislav Capuder and co-mentorship by Alen Hrga.
Congratulations to Lucija on winning the award! :)
On Thursday, September 2, 2021, Slavica Robic, Assistant Managing Director at North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency (REGEA), defended her thesis “Method for defining energy poverty threshold based on energy, climate, social and health indicators”, mentored by professor Slavko Krajcar. Her research has contributed to a better understanding of energy poverty as a multidimensional problem which requires a systematic approach. Research has shown that living in energy poverty results in adverse impacts on physical and mental health with decreased ability to take part in activities within the community. The tested method is based on an analytical hierarchy process by which decision-makers can analyse the situation and determine the criteria and measures for mitigating energy poverty. The presented research offers solutions applicable in practice, but also lays a good foundation for further research. Research leading to this thesis has been published in several scientific and expert papers, studies and policy proposals including a chapter in a book.
IMAGINE project manager, professor Tomislav Capuder, along with his team member professor Hrvoje Pandzic, participated in the sixth edition of the SpliTech 2021 international conference. During the conference, members of our team participated as panelists of the PANTERA and SUPERRA projects led by the European Energy Research Alliance. They discussed the presence of Croatian research institutions in projects from the EU program and how this participation should be increased and strengthened by Croatian institutions in order for them to be more present as coordinators and partners in projects under the upcoming Horizon Europe program.
The Department of Energy and Power Systems can proudly say that it has a member who is among the top 1% of the world's best #scientists! Professor Hrvoje Pandzic was included on the list of the most influential scientists for 2019 in a study published by a research group from Stanford University in California. In the study, about 160,000 of the world's most cited scientists in all disciplines were ranked by citations. In addition to this list, a list of the most influential scientists throughout their scientific careers was also published, which includes a total of 47 Croatian scientists.
You can read the full paper here.
Bravo Hrvoje! :)
Our Department hosted the traditional ZVNE football pool for the results of the European Football Championship. This is a chance for employees and friends of the Department to fight for eternal glory. The pool has been held for every European Championship and World Cup since 1982 with a few exceptions. The participants guess the champion, rank the four leading teams as well as guessing the result of the first match played by Croatian team. Even partial guesses earn points for advancement in the official ranking of ZVNE pool participants. The first place is currently held by Radoslav Zelić, a long-time laboratory technician at the Department, followed by many notable names of Croatian electrical power engineering such as Hrvoje Požar, who holds 33rd place.
Author: Marija Miletić
On Monday, July 26, we connected another set of solar panels to the grid. At this point, FER has 84 kW of installed photovoltaics capacity. Under the assumption that each kW of installed photovoltaic capacity in Zagreb produces around 1100 kWh of electricity, this power plant reduces FER's electricity bill by over 90 thousand HRK per year (1 kWh of electricity in high tariff costs around 1 HRK). Additionally, we are performing peak shaving which reduces our power payments by a couple hundred HRK per month. The photovoltaics installation at FER is an ongoing activity which is led by our research assistant Hrvoje Bašić, with the help of the entire Department of Energy and Power Systems. They were installed with the support of the Croatian Science Foundation, European Social Fund and the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund.
With finalizing this installation, we are already starting new projects that will result in new photovltaic capacity on FER's rooftops.
The final week before the vacation season at FER was also a week of great scientific accomplishments as we had two PhD theses defended, both of which resulted in Summa Cum Laude! First, on Monday, July 19, Kristina Pandžić defended her thesis ''Multilevel Optimization Models for Energy Storage Planning and Operation'', while Ivan Pavić on the following day defended his thesis ''Optimal Energy and Reserves Scheduling through Controllable Charging and Discharging of a Fleet of Electric Vehicles''. Both doctorates were defended in the so-called Scandinavian style, as both candidates published a large number of papers in very prestigious scientific journals during their studies. Congratulations, Kristina and Ivan, your work is extraordinary!
The operating cycle at the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Krško lasts for 18 months after which an outage takes place. An outage is a planned shutdown of the power plant with the aim of replacing nuclear fuel, performing major maintenance activities, inspections, supervised tests, and technological upgrades called modifications. All of these actions ensure that the power plant can operate smoothly and reliably for another cycle.
The outage 2021 started on April 1 and lasted for 34 days. The main activities included replacement of almost half of the fuel elements in the reactor core and inspection of the reactor vessel, control rod guides, and steam generator pipes. The main modifications from the Safety Upgrade Programme were implementation of an alternative system for Safety Injection (ASI), an alternative system for Auxiliary Feedwater (AAF), an alternative system for Residual Heat Removal (ARHR) and Reactor Coolant Pumps’ (RCP) high temperature seals.
It is important to note that the outage 2021 was carried out in full and successfully despite the coronavirus pandemic. This was the result of protective measures which were undertaken such as wearing FFP-2 face masks, regular disinfection, automatic body temperature measurement at the entrance, testing at the parking lot, and organization of working hours over a 24-hour period to ensure a minimal number of people at the site at the same time.
Around 600 Krško NPP employees and 1900 subcontractors from Croatia, Slovenia and abroad participated in the outage. The University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) is accredited by the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration to supervise safety-related outage activities. Our colleagues Davor Grgić, Siniša Šadek, and Štefica Vlahović from the Department of Energy and Power Systems were involved in the regulatory supervision of Emergency Control Room modification, changes of containment sump level monitoring, installation of a radioactivity monitor on the PCFV exhaust line, testing of fire protections system in the plant’s critical areas and main electrical equipment, testing of containment integrity, performance of Hydrogen passive autocatalytic recombiners (PAR) and performance of Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS).
Prof. Grgić was interviewed by Nacional to talk about the current state of nuclear energy in Croatia and the world. The full interview can be found here.
We are proud to announce that our PhD student Mirna Gržanić received the best poster award at the 2021 PhD Day. The poster, titled “Innovative models of flexible final customers in operation of smart distributed energy systems”, was recognised by a committee comprised of distinguished professors from FER. Mirna's research interests include active consumers, energy communities, smart distributed energy systems and balance group participation in the electricity markets.
PhD Day was inspired by top universities from around the world, as an open gathering where doctoral students publicly present their research results and everyone interested can get insight into the diversity and quality of scientific work at the faculty. Through this event, we not only wish to increase the visibility of research activities and accomplishments of FER, but also to enrich the existing Research seminar of the doctoral studies at FER, through presentation of results and exchange of personal experiences among the doctoral students. The sixth PhD Day was held on Tuesday, July 6th, 2021.
Congratulations Mirna, rock on girl! 😊
On Friday, June 18, 2021, at the age of 71, our esteemed Professor Slavko Krajcar, PhD, passed away. Professor Krajcar (born in 1951) made an exceptional contribution to the development of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, to which he served as dean from 1998 to 2002 and afterwards from 2002 to 2006 he became the Head of the Department of Energy and Power Systems of which he remained a faculty member until his death. He will always be remembered as a respected scientist, expert and colleague.
We will be thankful to Professor Krajcar for everything he has done for our Department, his energy and visionary leadership will forever brighten our Department. On behalf of the Department of Energy and Power Systems and all of its employees, as well as myself personally, I express our deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and associates.
Rest in peace, dear Professor.
Prof. Hrvoje Pandžić was interviewed on the RTL channel's TV show Potraga. Prof. Pandžić talked about the safety of Li-Ion batteries, their environmental impact and about research of battery technologies in the Smart Grid Laboratory (SGLab).
The roundtable, organized as part of the final workshop of the WINDLIPS project - Wind Energy Integration in Low-Inertia Power Systems, was held on April 16th, 2021 over the MS Teams platform. The roundtable gathered more than 100 participants from academia and the industry. Read more in the extended version.
Our fresh PhD student Nikolina Čović was awarded with the annual "Hrvoje Požar" award for a highly relevant Master's thesis by the Croatian Energy Society (HED - Hrvatsko energetsko društvo). Additionally, our PhD student Otto Heide was awarded with the annual "Hrvoje Požar" award for excellent results in his Master's studies. Additional information is available here.
Congratulations to you both. We are proud of you!