The Institute for Energy and Environment is involved in many research programmes funded by government, EU and industry. The links below provide details for some these projects.
SUPERGEN Highly Distributed Energy Future is a project being led by the University of Strathclyde team in partnership with University of Bath, Cardiff University, Imperial College, Loughborough University, University of Oxford, together with a partnership of a number of industrial, consultancy and advisory organizations.
The HiDEF Consortium is developing the analytical, sustainability and economic evaluation tools that are required for a future decentralised power system, together with appropriate hardware and the coordination strategies for network interfacing. Such a power system will deliver sustainability and security through the widespread deployment of distributed energy resources (DERs) and thus contributes to a low carbon future. DERs include micro-generation, energy storage and demand side management. The introduction of new national incentives for local and domestic sustainable energy sources, improved market mechanisms based on smart metering, and new electric vehicles initiatives all promise a significant growth in the deployment of DER and provide possible mechanisms for participation. To better exploit this potential, the consortium is developing an improved understanding of the aggregate performance of large populations of devices and testing robust control algorithms through detailed modelling. In addition, new market mechanisms tailored to DER are being explored and from this guidance concerning the effectiveness and macro-economic impact of alternative policy measures is emerging.
More information can be found at: www.supergen-hidef.org
Supergen FlexNet will put in place a substantial body of work that will build on the achievements of FutureNet and lay out the major steps, technical, economic, market design, public acceptance and others, that will lead to flexible networks, including starting to showcase these so that they can be taken up by the commercial sector, Government and regulators for practical implementation.
More information can be found at: www.supergen-networks.org.uk
Transition Pathways for a low carbon energy system in the UK, is a major new research project sponsored by E.ON UK and the EPSRC, and consists of the Universities of Bath, Cardiff, East Anglia, Leeds, Loughborough, Strathclyde, Surrey, Imperial College London and University College London.
The project is a collaboration between leading UK engineers, social scientists and policy analysts, supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the energy company E.ON UK. The project aims to (a) to learn from past transitions to help explore future transitions and what might enable or avoid them; (b) to design and evaluate transition pathways towards alternative socio-technical energy systems and infrastructures for a low carbon future; and (c) to understand and where appropriate model the changing roles, influences and opportunities of large and small 'actors' in the dynamics of transitions.
More information can be found on the consortium website: www.lowcarbonpathways.org.uk
The AMPerES (Asset Management and Performance of Energy Systems) was a four year programme undertaking science and fundamental engineering research required by electricity utilities to maintain and develop their networks.
It was a consortium of six Universities: Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Strathclyde, Southampton and Queens University Belfast and included all the network operators in the UK as industrial partners. It resulted in a number of academic concepts being developed into demonstrations on real networks.
The Institute for Energy and Environment led the Condition Monitoring work package of the programme. Through this the Institute delivered, among others research outcomes:
- Non-intrusive UHF micro-antennas have been designed and tested on MV switchgear, showing that PD can be measured effectively using non-intrusive external RF couplers.
- A knowledge-based system that can analyse partial discharge data arising from UHF GIS phase-resolved patterns or IEC 60270 data from an oil-insulated transformer.
- An online utility condition monitoring demonstrator that uses a multi-agent based architecture for multiple sensor/data acquisition systems in the power utility sector. The agent architecture allowed flexible deployment of sensor systems, data management, automated learning and diagnostic techniques.
More information can be found on the consortium website: www.supergen-amperes.org
The drivers that will shape the 2050 electricity network are numerous: increasing energy prices; increased variability in the availability of generation due to renewable energy sources; increased utilization due to growth in loads such as electric vehicles and heat pumps; and increased customer participation in system operation. As a consequence, by 2050, we will witness new physical and commercial patterns of consumption, a high degree of operation and planning uncertainty, and a high degree of complexity. These changes mean the energy networks of the future will be far more difficult to manage and design than those of today, for technical, social, environmental and commercial reasons.
This 4.5 year research project proposes a new autonomic power system as the solution to overcoming these changes. This system will rely on a fully distributed intelligence and control philosophy to deliver the future flexible grids required to facilitate the low carbon transition, while balancing the adoption of emerging technologies with uncertainty and complexity issues. It will also consider the new market and economic models required to underpin the future electrical power system with a focus on consumer participation.
More information can be found at the Autonomic Power Systems website.
‘Transforming the Top and Tail’ is a collaborative project of 8 Universities funded by the EPSRC Grand Challenge Programme. The project focuses on the physical infrastructure change in energy networks required to move the UK to a low carbon economy, and achieve the Government’s 2050 reduction in CO2 emissions target. The Research team are addressing the grand challenges faced at the top-most high voltage transmission network and at the last-mile distribution network.
More information can be found on the Transformation of the Top and Tail website.
NINES, is being developed by SSE in association with a range of local stakeholders, including Shetland Islands Council, Hjaltland Housing Association and Shetland Heat Energy and Power. It aims to support Shetland’s sustainable energy future by developing and managing the electricity distribution network more effectively to allow renewable energy to play a bigger part in meeting Shetland’s energy needs.
Key aspects of the project include:
- replacing old inefficient storage and water heaters in 1,000 homes with modern 'smart' storage heaters which help to balance the electricity network.;
- adding a new electric boiler to the existing district heating system, which will be associated with the proposed medium-scale Gremista wind farm;
- deploying new technology on the network that will allow more small scale renewable generators to connect to the network;
- introducing new commercial arrangements to encourage businesses to change the times at which they use most energy; and
- installing a 1MW battery, part-funded by the Department for Energy and Climate Change, at Lerwick Power Station.
NINES will help with the planning and development of energy infrastructures in the Northern Isles.
More information can be found on the NINES Project website.
This project seeks to trial a combination of smart network interventions and customer energy efficiency measures at three network locations. The objective is to demonstrate how they can release capacity on the HV network, allowing greater take up of low carbon technologies without the need for expensive network reinforcement. These technologies include solar PV, heat pumps and EV charging points. The project also intends to encourage specific I&C customers to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings to reduce their electricity demand.
The results from these trials have the potential to inform future network planning and operational practices. This project will help DNOs more accurately assess operational plant ratings using dynamic techniques and how best to actively control the network at the EHV/HV level. It aims to provide evidence of the capacity headroom available in existing networks that can be used before traditional network reinforcement needs to take place. This will enable networks to connect more customers and plan network reinforcement activities so that it happens only when genuinely needed.
More information can be found on the Flexible Networks for a Low Carbon Future website.
This project trials a Method where the NOP is closed so that the two circuits operate as a closed “ring”. Operating in this configuration, the project proposes to make use of a higher percentage of the available circuit capacity. This is made possible, without compromising customers suppliers, where some industrial customers voluntarily contract to reduce their demand in the event of a fault. This will enable other customers to have their supplies restored in the required timescales. This will be trialled both on networks where faults are rare or unusual and on those where faults are more common. The DNO will install additional sensors and activators on the network, as well as a new communications and analytics system. This network automation aims to restore supply more quickly in the event of a network outage.
More information can be found on the Capacity to Customers website.
The programme vision is:
to provide strategic leadership for the scientific–technical medium to long term research
to support the European Wind Initiative and the Technology Roadmap’s activities on wind energy, and on basis of this
to initiate, coordinate and perform the necessary scientific research.
More information can be found on the EERA Wind Energy website.
At present, 22 research organizations from 17 different European countries are participating in the JP on Smart Grids. In terms of human resources, the JP on Smart Grids gather together a minimum guarantee R&D effort summing up to about 100 person years/year, owing to the significant increase associated to the new participants incorporation, that took place at the beginning of 2011.
More information can be found on the EERA SmartGrids website.