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MESfIA Workshop in Thailand

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The Mastering Energy Supply focusing on Isolated Areas (MESfIA) project, co funded by the ERASMIUS+ programme of the European Commission, organized the MESfIA 2022 Thailand workshop on 5 April 2022. The workshop was hosted by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand through the online platform Zoom and physical presence of the participants.

The online workshop started with welcoming remarks delivered by Prof. Shobhakar Dhakal, the Vice President for academic Affairs at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and the Principal Investigator of the project at AIT. He then detailed the objectives of the workshop. Dr Phisut Apichayakul from Naresuan University (NU)also welcomed the participants followed by Dr. Antonios Tsikalakis, the MESFIA Project coordinator from the Hellenic Mediterranean University of Greece, who presented a general overview of the MESFIA project, its activities and aims, which is to provide high quality postgraduate education on energy supply for students and professionals in the energy sector through an effective knowledge and experience sharing link between academic and research institutions in EU member countries and in Southeast Asia..

The MESFIA 2022 Thailand workshop achieved its stated objectives through

  • two presentations from each Thailand based partner institution about the curriculum,
  • four presentations from Asia and Europe, and
  • showcasing the laboratory equipment obtained through the MESfIA project

The workshop topics include detailed presentation on the development of the curriculum including the laboratory experiments and how the course fulfil the learning objectives, and covered the themes of the project, namely, electricity access; microgrids; renewable energy resources utilization; energy access in remote locations; and clean cooking. The curriculum were in line with the Sustainable Development Goal number 7,  namely, to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Dr Phisut Apichayakul detailed the curriculum developed and offered at the Naresuan University, and specifically discussed the  program objectives and the major domains of the learning outcomes. He then presented the existing curriculum and the process undertaken to revise and to enhance the curriculum, and noted the new and enhanced courses given in terms of new subjects, revised subjects, etc. He also discussed the three trends of grid transformation – electrification, digitalization, decentralization.

Ms. Yoghita Miriyala, a student of the Sustainable Energy Transition program, Asian Institute of Technology with a focus on “Energy supply in isolated areas” presented her observations on the curriculum and the courses offered by looking at the program learning outcomes of this focus. She did this by discussing the overall structure and the program learning outcomes; and the curriculum, laboratory, assignments  and exams for selected sets of courses. She then compared some course contents with other universities. She detailed the programme learning outcomes (PLOs) and explained how the courses addressed  the PLOs. She concluded by listing and presenting all the relevant laboratory experiments, and making suggestions.

Dr Hien, Laboratory supervisor at the  Sustainable Energy Transition program, Asian Institute of Technology then explained to the participants some of the laboratory experiments. He showed the equipments and devices purchased under the Mesfia project – PV panels, wind turbine, micro grid equipments and demonstrated the micro grid connected to a diesel generator. He also explained about the biomass briquette making machine, and the use of briquettes in biomass cooking stoves.  The whole activity was streamed live through Zoom to the on-line participants.

The above discussed two presentations and the laboratory visit was meant to explain about the curriculum and the laboratory related to the curriculum.

Dr. Piyadanai Pachanapan from Naresuan University made a presentation titled “ Challenges in operating an isolated system using  inverter-based energy sources.”, and discussed the difference between synchronous and inverter based systems, the current and future electricity systems, and the demonstration of an isolated system at the USIS smart building in NU. He also presented and detailed about the equipments purchased through the Mesfia funds.

Mr. Shubam Tiwari, a doctoral student at the Sustainable Energy Transition program, Asian Institute of Technology then made a presentation based on his research, which was a simulation study on energy hubs considering efficient integration of flexible resources: A cooperative energy management framework. He discussed the cooperative energy management for multi-carrier networked energy hubs (EHs) considering integrated heat & electrical energy system. The constraints for the optimization include renewable energy source generation, Electrical/Thermal storage system, demand response, Electrical Vehicle (EV), and energy balance of the system. He considered four cases for the cost optimization and noted that the cooperation of EHs and flexible resources reduces the cost and the energy demand from the grid.

Dr Jirawadee Polprasert of Naresuan University made her presentation titled “Empowering Electrical and Energy Engineering towards Smart Electric Grid”. She observed that the  core components of a smart grid will support interoperability between power systems, information systems, communication systems, and communications systems, taking note of the fact that smart grid consists of hardware, software and peopleware. She observed that developing engineering skills for smart grid work consists of Individual factors (that includes, continuing education at the degree level, performance and attitude), supervisor factor (that includes on the job training, apprenticeships and project assignment), and organization policy factor to organize job rotation and promotion.

Dr Giannis Katsigiannis from the Hellenic Mediterranean University then presented “Enhancing resilience in power systems with significant penetration of distributed energy resources”. In his presentation, he discussed about power system resilience, enhancing resilience with distributed energy resources and wildfire resilience. He dealt with the definition, and discussed the difference between resilience vs reliability, presented the resilience curve and about the extreme events. He also discussed the control functions for enhancing resilience and noted their objectives and the possible solutions.

Speakers ranged from students to experts, who presented their observations and research findings on various aspects of the workshop theme.

Overall, the MESFIA 2022 Thailand workshop  showcased the curriculum developed and implemented as well as to present details of the recent research in the region and in Europe in the field of isolated power systems. It also brought to a common platform various stakeholders to discuss the energy supply issues in isolated areas.

The whole workshop was conducted in a hybrid mode – in the Zoom platform and physical presence of participants.

Press release.