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Mr Gareth McLorn
Research Student
Profile
Photo of Gareth McLorn  
E-mail: gmclorn02 at qub dot ac dot uk

 

Biography

 

Gareth completed his undergraduate MEng degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. Upon graduating he worked for three years as a Design Engineer with a mixed-signal chip design house and supplier in Edinburgh, where his work mainly focused on digital and mixed-signal design and verification for the company’s consumer audio range.

Following this, he assumed the role of Smart Grid Analyst for a Glasgow-based smart grid focused solutions provider and consultancy for two-and-a-half years. The company’s main drive during this period was to design and build hardware and software controlled schemes that facilitated the constrained connection of MW-scale embedded generation within thermally congested sections of distribution networks, primarily in northern and western Scotland. From mid-2012, he worked as an Electrical Engineer within the Power Systems Engineering Department of the national oil and energy company of Saudi Arabia, where his main tasks related to substation automation and the development of various energy efficiency programs.  He returned to Northern Ireland in January 2016 to begin his PhD. 

Academic Background
•    MEng (Hons) in Electronics and Electrical Engineering (First Class), University of Edinburgh, 2006. 
•    MSc (Hons) in Energy (Distinction), Heriot Watt University, 2016. 

Research Project

Voltage Optimization for High (HV) and Low Voltage (LV) Distribution Networks

Project Background

Gareth’s research is being undertaken in parallel with the contributions of QUB in delivering Task 2 – “Retrofit Design and Operation of Interconnected LV Networks” of an Ofgem Low Carbon Network Fund (LCNF) Tier 2 project, entitled “Smart Street”. This project encompasses a two-year field trial of Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) technology across 163 low voltage (LV) and 11 medium voltage (MV) circuits and 6 primary substations in North-West England. This network is owned and operated by the local Distribution Network Operator (DNO), Electricity North West Limited (ENWL). QUB is a research partner within this project, alongside teams from the University of Manchester (UoM), ENWL and several other associates.

Clear motivations exist for conducting empirical research into the effects of CVR within a modern context, mainly to verify if the original principles of the technology remain valid. Research will commence by evaluating certain customer device behaviours under strict laboratory conditions. The observed behaviours will then be incorporated into a scalable load model, which can then be applied within simulations of the real-life LV and MV networks from which the trial area within the Smart Street project is comprised. It is hoped that these experiments will help quantify the expected power quality impacts of CVR upon utilities and customers in a modern framework. Building upon the analytical platform described, a multi-objective approach to enacting voltage optimization within future network scenarios shall be investigated.