Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering


A few decades ago, harmonic levels in electricity transmission networks were relatively low due to limited harmonic loads (such as renewable generation), low emissions from bulk supply points, high levels of synchronous generation and absorption from connected loads. Various international publications have forecasted that by 2030 many power systems around the world would have as high as 30% of renewable generation, e.g. solar and wind plants, which produce significant harmonics, and more than 60% increase in other harmonic producing loads (industrial, farming and residential equipment). This is coupled with the expected retirement of a large number of fossil-fuelled synchronous generators. Accordingly, growth in harmonic levels in the transmission network is anticipated.

The Australian power system landscape has already changed and will continue to move rapidly towards having more renewable energy sources and power electronic loads. Recently, state governments throughout Australia have confirmed their support for the development of Renewable Energy Zones (REZ), i.e. areas with high concentrations of renewable energy sources. In August 2020, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) published the Integrated System Plan (ISP), which provides a 20-year roadmap for the National Electricity Market (NEM) through the energy transition period to 2040. The ISP includes a 63% reduction in coal-fired synchronous generation, a 200% increase in Distributed Energy Resources and a 75% increase in solar and wind plants. These new technologies bring with them a wide range of harmonic issues; however, there has been no significant updates in the harmonic management of Australian transmission systems. In particular, the latest version of the Australian National Electricity Rules (NER), as of 17 September 2020, still referenced the 20 years old Australian and New Zealand Standard, i.e. AS/NZS 61000.3.6:2001. Transmission System Operators (TSOs) rely heavily on existing standards and guidelines, which have increasingly become less relevant and less effective for modern power systems. Urgent review and improvement of existing standards and guidelines are needed to avoid unnecessary impediment to the transition plan of power systems towards modern loads and higher renewable penetration platforms.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.