Skip to main content
Unit of study_

ELEC5208: Intelligent Electricity Networks

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

This unit aims to give students an introduction to the planning and operation of modern electricity grids, also known as "smart" grids. Traditional power networks featured a small number of large base-load plants sending power out over transmission lines to be distributed in radial lower voltage networks to loads. In response to the need to reduce carbon impact, future networks will feature diverse generation scattered all over the network including at distribution levels. Also there will be new loads such as electric vehicles and technologies including energy storage and lower voltage power flow control devices. The operation of these new networks will be possible by much greater use of information and communication technology (ICT) and control over the information networks. The unit will cover recent relevant developments in energy technologies as well as important components of 'smart grids' such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), substation automation, remote terminal units (RTU), sensors and intelligent electronic devices (IED). Operation of these electricity grids requires a huge amount of data gathering, communication and information processing. The unit will discuss many emerging technologies for such data, information, knowledge and decision processes including communication protocols and network layouts, networking middleware and coordinated control. Information systems and data gathering will be used to assess key performance and security indicators associated with the operation of such grids including stability, reliability and power quality.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ELEC5208
Academic unit Electrical and Information Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge

Fundamentals of Electricity Networks, Control Systems and Telecommunications

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Jeremy Qiu,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Record+) Type B final exam Final exam
Closed book and online examination (Type B Exam with Proctor U)
40% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO6
Assignment Individual video assignment
20% Week 11
Due date: 12 May 2020 at 23:59
7 minutes video
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Assignment Individual project report
Individual assignment report.
30% Week 13
Due date: 26 May 2020 at 23:59
2000~3000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Individual lab reports
Two individual lab reports with hybrid face-to-face and online attendance.
10% Week 13 N/A
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Type B final exam = Type B final exam ?

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to the conventional power distribution systems Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 02 Power system basics (power flow problems, power system stability, major blackout, load modeling, generator modelling, and exciter modelling) Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 03 Emerging technologies and renewable energy (wind and solar power, biomass, impacts, benefits and solutions) Online class (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 04 Battery energy storage system and electric vehicle Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Demand response (demand management, load following, load shaping, smart home management, virtual power plant) Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Control in smart grid (control principles, classical and modern control theories, centralised and distributed control, frequency and voltage control ) Online class (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 07 SCADA, EMS/DMS, and smart grids Online class (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Communication in smart grid (Smart meters, home area network, access network, backbone/core network, and data/control center) Online class (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Computing in smart grid (intelligent optimisation algorithms, parallel computing, grid computing, cloud computing, big data analysis) Online class (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Micro-grid (planning and operation of micro-grid) Online class (2 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 11 New market business model (trans-active energy, 'prosumer', distribution markets) Online class (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 12 Project Discussion and Feedback Online class (2 hr) LO3 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 13 Project Discussion and Feedback/Brief discussion on future grid Online class (2 hr) LO3 LO6 LO7 LO8

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand the mathematical models of the power and information networks as part of a cyber-physical system in a ‘smart grid
  • LO2. explain and evaluate the system capability, stability, reliability from a smart grid perspective
  • LO3. model and analyse broadly and design substantial parts of state-of-the-art smart-grid systems while appreciating the issues for further developments
  • LO4. design and simulate decision and control systems for smart grid applications including volt-VAR control, FDIR, WAMS
  • LO5. demonstrate an understanding of concepts, selected analysis and design techniques in modern power systems, i.e. the interaction of large-scale generation, transmission and distribution including distributed generation, micro-grids and virtual power plants
  • LO6. undertake knowledge building by drawing on many and varied information sources specific to the power systems industry for new designs and solutions to problems
  • LO7. communicate specific design project material through proper engineering presentations and reports
  • LO8. make a substantial contribution to a team project where members have some overlapping and complementary skills.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes are required.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.