Curtin scholar to advance renewable wind energy technology
Curtin University of Technology PhD student Susanne Sugiarto wants to see more wind energy used as part of Australia's power system.
In fact, the 24-year-old is currently devoting her energies to finding more efficient and cost effective wind energy technology methods. The School of Electrical Engineering and Computing student is set to further her research, courtesy of a prestigious Prime Minister's Australia Asia Endeavour Award. As one of 20 postgraduate scholarship recipients announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Canberra yesterday, Ms Sugiarto will spend between six to 12 months at Beijing's Tsing Hua University. She's looking forward to advancing her research in China.
The award gives me the opportunity to study at one of the best engineering universities in China. China is also one of the largest wind energy producers in the world and has numerous wind turbine manufacturing and integration companies. Wind is one of the most promising sources of renewable energy today, but unfortunately Australia lags behind the rest of the advanced world in the integration of wind into our power system. Due to the unpredictable nature of wind, wind energy conversion systems need a more complex control strategy to operate more efficiently, if not these can be too costly to run and maintainMs Sugiarto said.
Ms Sugiarto is studying fixed speed wind energy conversion systems that incorporate the cheap and robust induction generator.
My research involves designing a control algorithm that can determine an optimal operating point for these systems, resulting in greater efficiency and return on investment. If successful my research will have a significant impact as fixed speed systems are widely utilised in large scale wind energy conversion systems as they are more economical compared to the variable speed systems. If wind can be more efficiently harnessed and it is cheaper to do so, this will go a long way to helping Australia reach its goal of making 20 per cent of its energy sources renewable by 2020.
As an ethnic Chinese who was born in Indonesia and grew up in Australia, Ms Sugiarto has another reason to be thrilled about travelling to China.
This is a chance for me to get first-hand experience of my cultural roots and immerse myself in it. I am really looking forward to an eye-opening experience both intellectually through my research and also culturally by being able to live in China. I am learning how to speak Mandarin and it will be wonderful to be able to put what I am learning into practice
The Prime Minister's Australia Asia Endeavour Awards provides scholarships for the 'best and brightest' university students from Australia and Asia. Ms Sugiarto will travel to China in July 2010.
Source: Curtin Media Release