Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation and Supply (CIREGS)

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

Our current national usage of energy is primarily based on the burning of fossil fuels in large, centralised power stations. These emit a range of pollutants into the atmosphere, including CO2 which contributes to the global warming through the so-called 'greenhouse effect'. Moreover, the UK indigenous supply of fossil fuels is depleting, such that in the next 5 years, we will have to import fuel supplies to ensure our homes and businesses are adequately heated and provided with electricity. An attractive strategy is to move towards a more extensive utilisation of renewable energy resources, such as those provided by wind, sun and oceans. Often these renewable sources are provided locally, and many are inconsistent due to the intermittent nature of the resource i.e. natural resources vary with time. Systematically moving over to this new system of power generation will introduce new challenges, for example customers will require far more interaction with the electricity networks, being consumers and well as providers of electricity, accommodating bi-directional power flow and full exploitation of intermittent supply. This in turn requires more intelligent monitoring, communications and control systems, providing a fully integrated system. This new philosophy will require a truly multi-disciplinary approach, involving a range of engineers, scientists, economists and social/environmental experts. However, for the systems approach, engineering skills from different sub-disciplines will be required to facilitate this change including electrical, electronic, mechanical, structural and chemical. Nationally, we will require a workforce with different skills, trained and educated to enable integrated and smart systems approaches. Several national reviews have stated a lack of UK capacity in the area of renewable generation and supply capability, as well as in the specific areas of focus involving Smart Grids . Therefore, this bid proposes to meet this challenge by creating a new Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation and Supply (CIREGS) at the Cardiff School of Engineering. The group proposed is fully consistent with the future plans for the School, and so the 3 staff EPSRC-funded through this bid will be matched with 3 staff funded by Cardiff University and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW). The University will fund the 6 posts beyond the 5-year term of this proposal. This Centre will set up a multi-discipline engineering group of critical mass that has international expertise in both generation and supply of renewable energy. Skill groups required will include those contributing to developing Smart Grids of the future, generation sources (if possible, prioritising marine power and fuel cell technology) and enabling technologies for systems integration (power electronics, control and communications). Recruitment of academic and research staff into this centre will focus on the international community, introducing new capacity to the UK, fully utilising methods that have contributed to Cardiff's successful track record in previous international recruitment programmes. The centre will be expected to increase its capacity and potential impact by interaction with other local, national and international centres.The R&D output of the Centre will be transferred to the benefit of the UK economy through mature methods of business and engagement currently employed within the School. Specifically, the Centre will focus on close links with industry and deployment of new technologies. A broad range of industries have provided letters of support for this proposal. Future generations of trained engineers and researchers in this area will be trained at all levels: undergraduate (through IET Power Academy Partnership); post-graduate (through MSc in 'Sustainable Energy and Environment'), and research (through the Graduate School and EU Marie-Curie Scheme and the new Power Grids Research Academy).
 
Description This award was to establish a renewable energy research group within the School of Engineering, Cardiff University. It supported:
3 Lecturers all of whom are still at Cardiff as 1 Professor, 1 Reader and 1 Senior Lecturer
4 Research Assistants who are now 1 Lecturer at Cardiff, 1 Lecturer at Peradeniya University (Sri Lanka), 1 Engineer at GE Energy Systems, 1 Engineer with WPD.
3 PhD students who are now 1 Lecturer at Cardiff, 1 Engineer with UK Power Networks, 1 Engineer with IT Power Consultancy.
Through the grant, an effective research group has been established which consists of 2 Professors, 1 Reader, 1 Senior Lecturer and 3 Lecturers. The group has 8 research assistants and 25 PhD students. It works on power electronics, smart grid and energy infrastructure. Example of our work include finding better ways to transmit power from offshore wind farms, investigating how our grid will need to change to cope with large scale use of electric vehicles and developing tools to support the future 'smart grid'.

The group has benefitted from extensive collaboration with industry, including National Grid, Alstom Grid (now GE Energy Systems), Nordic Wind Power, Parsons Brinkerhoff, Scottish Power, Toshiba, China Electric Power Research Institute, TECNALIA Research & Innovation (Spain), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Grid Integration Group (USA), Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (Greece).

The group has three Visiting Professors from industry (Alstom Grid (now GE Energy Systems), Toshiba and Parsons Brinckerhoff). These Professors facilitate the two-way exchange of knowledge and expertise between industry and research and teaching.
Exploitation Route Since completion of the grant the research team has continued to thrive and secured a number of EPSRC and CEU grants. Recent awards are listed in the Further Funding section. The Group has also provided input to DECC and the Energy Systems Catapult.
Sectors Electronics,Energy

URL http://research.engineering.cf.ac.uk/home/energy/centre-for-integrated-renewable-energy-generation-and-supply
 
Description The grant allowed research to support for the transition of the UK to a low carbon energy economy to be pursued. It investigated the integration of wind turbines and electric vehicles into the electric power system but also extended the research focus to address combined heat/electricity/gas urban energy systems. It provided underpinning support for the established of the Energy Systems Catapult.
Sector Energy
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Dr Liana Cipcigan on Low Carbon Vehicles Steering Group at Welsh Government
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Prof Nick Jenkins: OFGEM Electricity Network Innovation Panel
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact OFGEM's Electricity Network Innovation Panel advises on the allocation of £60M of funding per year to innovation actions which will reduce the costs to customers and improve the performance of electricity distribution and transmission.
URL https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/network-regulation-riio-model/network-innovation/electricity-network-innova...
 
Description Cardiff University President's Scholarship
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation Transport Research Laboratory Ltd (TRL) 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Cardiff University President's Scholarship (Control of a 1MW variable speed wind turbine)
Amount £74,000 (GBP)
Organisation Nordic Wind Power 
Sector Private
Country Denmark
Start 10/2010 
End 09/2013
 
Description Cardiff University President's Scholarship (Dynamic demand to support smart grid operation)
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation Open Energi 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC (HubNet: research leadership and networking for power networks)
Amount £311,393 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I013636/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC (Mitigating the effect of low inertia and low short-circuit level in HVDC-rich AC grids)
Amount £345,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/L021455/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2014 
End 06/2017
 
Description EPSRC DTG
Amount £27,000 (GBP)
Organisation Toshiba 
Sector Private
Country Japan
Start  
 
Description EPSRC HubNet (Flexible Power Flow Control in Meshed HVDC Grid)
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2012 
End 09/2015
 
Description EPSRC UK-China (Enhanced Renewable Integration through Flexible Transmission Options (ERIFT))
Amount £370,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K006312/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2013 
End 03/2016
 
Description EPSRC-DTA and ALSTOM GRID (Control of VSC-HVDC for grid integration of offshore wind power)
Amount £66,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2009 
End 09/2012
 
Description EPSRC-TSB (Ebbs and flows of energy systems)
Amount £172,572 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2014 
End 02/2017
 
Description EU FP7 (Beyond state-of-the-art technologies for power AC corridors and multi-terminal HVDC systems (BEST-PATHS))
Amount € 741,347 (EUR)
Funding ID 612748 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2018
 
Description EU FP7 (MERGE (Mobile Energy Resources in Grids of Electricity))
Amount € 383,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 241399 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description EU FP7 (Multi-terminal DC grid for offshore wind)
Amount € 3,900,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 317221 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2013 
End 03/2017
 
Description EU FP7 (SEESGEN-ICT (Supporting energy efficiency in smart generations grids through ICT))
Amount € 14,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description EU FP7 ICT-Smart Energy Grids (MASTERING Multi-Agent Systems and Secured coupling of Telecom and Energy Grids for Next Generation smart grid services)
Amount € 511,680 (EUR)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2014 
End 08/2017
 
Description EU INTERREG IVC (European network on electric vehicles and transferring expertise)
Amount £335,408 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description EU Intelligent Energy Europe (Incentives for Clean Vehicles in Urban Europe)
Amount £145,516 (GBP)
Funding ID IEE/13/761/SI2.675063 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2014 
End 03/2017
 
Description EU Intelligent Energy Europe (eBRIDGE: empowering e-fleets for business and private purposes in cities)
Amount £134,112 (GBP)
Funding ID IEE/12/713/SI2.644746 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2013 
End 03/2016
 
Description FP7 (Districts of the Future)
Amount € 65,275 (EUR)
Funding ID 608649 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2015 
End 10/2016
 
Description Horizon 2020 (Peer 2 Peer SmartTest)
Amount € 380,740 (EUR)
Funding ID 646469 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2015 
End 12/2017
 
Description National Grid (Application of dc circuit-breakers in dc grids)
Amount £127,500 (GBP)
Organisation The National Grid Co plc 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2012 
End 06/2017
 
Description National Grid (Test of multi-terminal VSC HVDC control strategies by means of an analogue test rig)
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation The National Grid Co plc 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2012 
End 07/2012
 
Description National Grid NIA (Development of Dynamic Demand Models in DIgSILENT PowerFactory)
Amount £212,518 (GBP)
Organisation National Grid Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description President's Scholarship PhD (Peer to Peer Smart Energy Networks)" (Toshiba Europe contribute £32,100 to ENGIN).
Amount £68,100 (GBP)
Organisation Cardiff University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description RCUK (Grand Challenge: Transformation of the top and tail of energy networks)
Amount £382,107 (GBP)
Organisation Research Councils UK (RCUK) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description RCUK (ITRC: Long term dynamics of interdependent infrastructure systems)
Amount £299,622 (GBP)
Organisation Research Councils UK (RCUK) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description RCUK (System Architecture Challenges: Supergen+ for HubNet)
Amount £101,031 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description RCUK First Grant (Increasing the observability of electrical distribution systems using smart meters)
Amount £99,733 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/J00944X/1 
Organisation Research Councils UK (RCUK) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description RCUK Supergen Consortium (HiDEF (Highly distributed energy future))
Amount £421,811 (GBP)
Organisation Research Councils UK (RCUK) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description RCUK/China NFSC (Grid Economics, Planning and Business Models for Smart Electric Mobility)
Amount £323,840 (GBP)
Organisation Research Councils UK (RCUK) 
Department RCUK-China
Sector Public
Country China
Start  
 
Description RCUK/China NFSC (Role of energy storage in enhancing operation and stability performance of sustainable power systems (RESTORES))
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/L014351/1 
Organisation Research Councils UK (RCUK) 
Department RCUK-China
Sector Public
Country China
Start  
 
Description RCUK/India (High Energy And Power Density (HEAPD) Solutions to Large Energy Deficits)
Amount £284,867 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K036211/1 
Organisation Research Councils UK (RCUK) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description RCUK/NFSC (Integrated Operation and Planning for Smart Electric Distribution Networks (OPEN))
Amount £373,366 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K006274/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Royal Academy of Engineering (Future balancing services for high level of embedded electricity generation)
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation Royal Academy of Engineering 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2015 
End 08/2016
 
Description UKERC (Scenarios for the development of smart grids in the UK)
Amount £140,270 (GBP)
Organisation UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Alstom Grid (Current flow control in DC grids) 
Organisation Alstom
Department Alstom Grid
Country France 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution To undertake research and development in the field of current flow control (CFC) in DC grids for ALSTOM with the aim of building a reconfigurable CFC small scale prototype (SSP) and testing two CFC circuits and their control concepts using a DC grid test rig that already exists at the Cardiff's facility.
Collaborator Contribution Industrial expertise and guidance
Impact Partnership recently ended; to be confirmed
Start Year 2014
 
Description Alstom Grid (DC grid control and protection) 
Organisation Alstom
Country France 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution DC and AC grid simulation to contribute to Alstom objectives to further develop and validate the concepts of DC Grid control; to further develop and validate the concepts of DC Grid protection referred to as 'Open Grid' and to develop and validate a protection strategy for DC grids both including and excluding DC Breaker technology.
Collaborator Contribution Industrial expertise
Impact Partnership not yet complete; to be confirmed
Start Year 2013
 
Description China Electric Power Rsearch Institute (Overview of HVDC grid R&D and reliability of HVDC stations) 
Organisation China Electric Power Research Institute (CEPRI)
Country China 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Power system simulation and analysis; exchange of knowledge
Collaborator Contribution Industrial expertise; exchange of knowledge; license to Cardiff University to use specialist software
Impact Partnership still in progress; to be confirmed
Start Year 2013
 
Description Quzhou HangYong Transformer Corporation (Power Flow Control and Anti-Fault Strategies of DC grids) 
Organisation Quzhou HangYong Transformer Corporation, Ltd.
Country China 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Power flow control and anti-fault strategies of DC grids; exchange of knowledge
Collaborator Contribution Power flow control and anti-fault strategies of DC grids; exchange of knowledge
Impact PhD studentship
Start Year 2011
 
Description Scottish Power (Angle-DC academic engagement) 
Organisation Scottish Power Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Distribution network dynamic studies; DC converter simulation
Collaborator Contribution SP are carrying out the ANGLE DC project: 'Angle DC' will demonstrate an innovative network reinforcement technique by converting an existing 'AC' (alternating current) network on Anglesey to 'DC' (direct current) operation. Successful delivery of this project will enable additional power from renewable energy to be exported from Anglesey on the existing distribution system. In addition, there is significant potential for this technology to be used by electricity distribution companies across the country to create additional network capacity and help manage network performance. £13.1m of funding has been awarded by Ofgem.
Impact Collaboration just started; no outcomes yet
Start Year 2016
 
Description automotiveworld.com Webinar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Liana Cipcigan was invited speaker at the automotiveworld.com Webinar with the presentation "Integration of EV infrastructure, the UK case study", June 2011 (183 registered participants worldwide)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011