Smart grid research initiative supported by the NSF has resulted in setting up micro grid pilot project at University of Moratuwa


Interruption of power supply for a second may end up with great financial losses in the business. This phenomenon is inevitable when power distribution occurs through a central distribution system, the system currently in execution in Sri Lanka. The plausible way to overcome this is to use a decentralized system. Smart Grid Research Team at the University of Moratuwa secured a grant from the NSF way back in 2011 and initiated the smart grid research project. They proposed a decentralized system instead of the central distribution system using small scale micro grids. The research phase 1 was culminated with the system architecture to convert the existing distribution network to Multi Agent System (MAS) which breaks down the complex controlling task into several smaller tasks assigned to a team of agents. The second phase of the work was focused on developing a smart device for fault detection, isolation and restoration which was supported further through a Technology Grant of the NSF in 2014. Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) has become the industrial partner to this project.

The success of the project encouraged LECO to extend their continued support towards this endeavor earmarking future prospects for the power and energy sector in the country.

Accordingly, LECO has selected the University of Moratuwa as the site for the development of a micro grid pilot project (350 kW) and entered into a MoU between two parties for research and development in smart grid research. The ADB is the funding partner in this exercise.

According to Dr Udayanga Hemapala, the Research Team Leader of the University of Moratuwa, the MoUs are to be signed with foreign Universities to carry out further research in this direction. The main focus of this research is to contribute to the Sri Lankan economy through public-private partnerships.

The work of Smart Grid Research Team at the University of Moratuwa for their success and initiative taken to expand the research wings for national development is remarkable. The NSF being the grant supporter from the conceptualization to product development, congratulates the Team for successful completion of the project.