Object Oriented Representation of Smart Electrical Networks [Plan A or B]


Electrical networks are becoming more complex with the introduction of distributed generators; power electronics based control devices and various types of loads. The electrical networks are no longer passive meshed systems, as they were a couple decades ago. Rather the generation, transmission and consumption co-exist almost at all levels of the electrical networks. With the ever increasing number of control parameters, the management, protection and control of these electrical networks have become a real challenge for power engineers. Furthermore, several loads and/or distributed generators may connect/disconnect from/to the network at any time. Therefore, the shape of the network is not fixed but variable. Power flow, power quality calculations as well as protection parameters such as relay settings, fault current settings and etc. require that the exact structure of an electrical network should be monitored. This can be achieved by making use of communication lines in a central management system.

Goal & Research Activities

The goal of this research project is to study the representation and modelling of electrical nodes such as relays, generators and loads using Object Oriented (OO) data structures and to model microgrids with graph theory. The representation follows the international communication standard for substations – IEC 61850 and its recent extension for distributed generators – IEC 61850-7-420. Once the network is represented with OO data structures, Dijkstra’s algorithm can be implemented to monitor the changes in the network and recognize new deployments. In this manner, the exact structure of the network can be monitored without central management and necessary adjustments can be made on the fly. This will be a solid step towards plug-and-play in electrical networks. The simulation of the proposed model will be incorporated to show the viability of such model and its effectiveness.

This research will be carried out under the research team of Mobile, Cloud and Internet of Things (MCI). The student will be required to participate in the team's research activities and present progress at the team's research presentations.


This research project requires the student to have (or develop) good object-oriented programming  and data structures & algorithms skills. Knowledge of electrical networks, mobile ad hoc networks and distributed systems is a plus.


  1. Smart Grids
  2. Modeling Electrical Networks with Object Oriented Data Structures for Smart Control


Prof. Taha Selim Ustun, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University - USA <ustun AT cmu dot edu>

Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha, Department of Computer Science, Makerere University < baino at cis dot mak dot ac dot ug >