Date: 09/04/2019

Venue: Institute of Technology, Nirma University

Speaker: Prof. Nirmal Kumar C Nair



The United Nations Climate Change Paris Agreement (COP21) amongst 196 countries has triggered the rise in penetration of renewable distributed energy resources (DER) into AC interconnected power systems. Integration of different technologies and varying scales of renewable generation across interconnected transmission and distribution grids will accelerate resulting in pressure on ensuring safety and operational integrity of existing reliable power system operation. In this context one of the critical aspects impacted is the practice of power system protection and safety which this plenary will address. Existing knowledge of traditional safety and protection philosophies, schemes, practices and related system impacts will continue to be revisited to factor unique DER fault/abnormal characteristics and how they are electrically seen by the existing AC system and Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) protection devices. This plenary will highlight forward-looking and global transformative power system protection/safety concepts that helps understand challenges that highly distributed DER penetration causes and identify possible solutions using existing and newer technologies. The lecture will address the following items:

  • Power System Protection issues associated with DER connected to transmission and sub-transmission network:
  • Protection and Safety impacts due to large-scale penetration of DER connected to MV and LV distribution network:
  • Newer concepts, analysis, techniques to enable effective sensitivity and selectivity for grid protection schemes with DER

Prof. Nirmal Kumar C Nair


Nirmal-Kumar C Nair has BE from M.S. University, Baroda, ME in High Voltage from IISC and PhD from Texas A and M. He has held several industry, research and academic posts in India, USA and New Zealand. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Eng. at University of Auckland. He works on protection, renewable grid integration, electricity markets, blackouts, restoration and resilience and engages on industry projects through consultancy. He is passionate about life-long-learning, energy policy, innovation and media outreach.

He is actively involved with IEEE Power and Energy Society and NZ Electricity Engineers Association (EEA). He is CIGRE NZNC Executive Committee member and its AORC representative since 2008, elected as Secretary (2014-17) and Observer Member for CIGRE B5 (Protection and Automation) since 2010 participating and leading working groups. In IEEE PES he has held various leadership positions and was nominated for elected positions of Candidate IEEE Division VII (Power & Energy) Director Elect 2017 and Candidate IEEE PES Treasurer (2018-19).  He was the General Organizing Chair for IEEE PES 2012 POWERCON, IEEE PES ISGT-ASIA 2017, 2017 CIGRE AUCKLAND and 2018 AUPEC held in Auckland. He was the special reporter for “Protection under System Emergency Conditions” during CIGRE B5 Paris session (26-31 Aug 2018).

Research Area

Research works are related to three related areas in the broad topic of Power System:

  • Power System Protection (IEC 61850, SPS, WAPS)
  • Electricity Markets (Ancillary Services, Volatility, Demand Side Participation)
  • Smart Grids (Emphasis on Substation Automation, Smart-Metering, Protection and Control)
  • Integration of Renewable (Wind, Solar) and Distributed Generation into Power Systems
  • High-Energy Storage and Electric Vehicle impacts on Distribution Utilities