System Architecture Challenges: Supergen+ for HubNet

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Abstract

HubNet is a multi-university collaborative project which is three years into a five-year programme of exploring the future form of energy networks. In particular we are exploring the use of smart grid technologies and HVDC to integrate high penetrations of renewable energy into the electricity system and investigating how to manage changes in energy supply to private vehicles and building heating. It does this through its own programme of core research and through drawing together the research of the Grand Challenges projects in this area and other Research Council activities. This proposal is for an extension to the HubNet's core research in order to address challenges not identified in the original proposal.

Two themes appear in any discussion of the smart grid: (1) the opportunities for consumers to be become more active so that they benefit from trading their energy needs and production, and (2) the creation of an ICT system that generates very large volume of power flow and voltage data that can be harnessed to run the system more efficiently. Despite being a well known topic and the subject of research projects on specific aspects, there is still a lack of consensus over precisely how customers can play their role (in terms of choices they can make, technology to assist and markets that deliver value to all participants). There also remains a lack of clarity over what exactly is the challenge in power system operation to which "big data" technology is the answer. We seek to gain further understanding in these areas through stakeholder engagement activities.

We propose to explore further the opportunities of "big data" through a case study of data used in condition monitoring of transformers and cables to predict accurately lifetime and incipient failure.

A key feature of the electricity system is the low rate power cuts and the high dependence placed on electricity by modern society. Moving from a system where control is exercised primarily by actions in power stations to a system where consumers are encouraged to modify their behaviour and become part of the control and where some power sources (wind and PV for example) are not readily controlled radically changes the risk profile of the system. We propose to develop new analytical techniques to model this and plan future systems. A specific control problem that will be analysed in depth is the gradual removal from the system of the inertia provided by the spinning masses of conventional power station generators. This inertia helps keep the system frequency at 50 Hz. Already Ireland limits the production by wind turbines so that sufficient inertia is retained. We will explore where the limit lies for Great Britain and what innovations might advance that limit.

Finally to address the issues associated with increased uncertainties in system operation and mange the risk of system becoming less controllable and vulnerable to external disturbances, new methodologies will need to be developed to quantify the risk profile of a future power system and how this profile is affected by various epistemic (data shortage or model simplification) and aleatory (inherent random behaviour) uncertainties in system model and operation.

Planned Impact

We have a management structure already established within HubNet to allow all investigators to pursue the most promising lines of research to maximise impact. The project is supported by our Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) comprising UK based industrial representatives (National Grid, Alstom), global industry (IBM) and non-UK academia. A major effort of the management team and SAB over the preceding 6 months has been to review the landscape in each of HubNet's six thematic areas in terms of UK funded work, international work, demonstration projects and gap analysis.

HubNet is engaged with the DECC/Ofgem Smart Grid Forum which gives us an interchange of ideas and information with the varied industry sectors and form this grouping (covering network operators, consultancies, energy companies, equipment manufacturers and service companies).

Building on the existing HubNet infrastructure we will establish the Supergen+ project as a visible focal point for advanced analysis of uncertain, data rich power systems with reduced participation of conventional generation. We will use the SmartGrid Forum's portal to promulgate our experience as well as using our own established website for position papers and presentation archive. HubNet holds and annual 2-day Smart Grid Symposium for dissemination and this year will take an exhibition stand at the Low Carbon Network Innovation conference in Aberdeen.
Industrial adoption of network innovation is crucial. There are potential routes through Ofgem's NIC and NIA schemes for network operators to demonstrate new technologies that started out as research topics. HubNet partner universities are engaged with several NIC, NIA and the previous LCNF projects featuring demand-side response, storage and active network management and all of these draw strongly on Supergen funded research work for the analysis base.

HubNet researchers have a strong history of contributing to policy development from findings in Supergen funded work including submission to DECC/Ofgem consultations, evidence to Select Committees of parliament and analysis work to support the Smart Grid Forum, the Energy Networks Strategy Group and the Electricity Networks Association. This Supergen+ project will be specifically developing analysis tools for assessment of operation, control and stability of both UK and international electricity systems around specific potential barriers to low carbon generation such as the loss of physical inertia and the change of risk profile.

All of our universities recognise the importance of public engagement and offer a wide range of opportunities for it, and we will contribute to these programmes. The impact of our research is disseminated to the wider public through reporting our work in the media as opportunities arise (such as the recent BBC Radio 4 Frontiers programme on Power Transmission).

HubNet partners have extensive links to universities in China and a growing set in India thanks to specific EPSRC support. Engagement in future Horizon 2020 projects is important for UK industry and academia and we specifically seek to promote that via Smart Grids programme of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA).

We recognise the need to deepen engagement in the US and will use existing links between Strathclyde and NYU to also draw in other UK partners and US industry through IBM (existing partner) and Con Edison. The economies of South America are developing and need for electricity is growing. Our chosen partner to work with here is Chile

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Findings from this additional funding for the HubNet consortium were reported alongside those of the main funding stream and in reports to the Supergen High Level Group
Exploitation Route .
Sectors Energy

 
Description Analysis of alternative UK heat decarbonisation pathways
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/analysis-of-alternative-uk-heat-decarbonisation-pathways/
 
Description Hubnet position papers on customer engagement with demand side response (DSR) led to contracted work for BEIS to provide an evidence review on DSR
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The review will assist BEIS in assessing the role of demand side response in meeting the objectives of energy policy
 
Description Member of Ofgem RIIO2 Challenging Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Open Networks Advisory Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Collaboration with New York University, including secondments 
Organisation New York University
Department Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution New York University (NYU) as leading experts in decentralised control and decision making. . NYU research has demonstrated how distributed voltage regulation is achieved by solving a linear programming (LP) optimization problem with an objective function that allows every distributed generator (DG) to optimize its generation. Our partnership undertook research to implement NYU's distributed voltage regulation via multi-agent systems. Through funding from the Energy Technology Partnership, the researcher Dr Dimitrios Athanasiadis visited NYU twice for research collaboration. These visits took place from the 2nd of July to 18th of July, 2017, and 1st of September until 15th of September, 2017. These allowed him to examine the NYU Matlab algorithms for their epsilon decomposition technique, identify how to divide the algorithms into different functions that could be built into a multi-agent systems framework and to identify appropriate case studies. Based on the collaborative visits a multi-agent system framework has been developed that employs the NYU techniques and algorithms. A range of case studies are being evaluated and there will be further joint publications from this work, having already published a paper at ISAP2017.
Collaborator Contribution NYU research provided their expertise and algorithms for distributed voltage regulation through linear programming (LP) optimization problem with an objective function that allows every distributed generator (DG) to optimize its generation. NYU provided Matlab algorithms for their epsilon decomposition technique.
Impact Design of a multi-agent system for distributed voltage regulation Chen Minjiang, Athanasiadis Dimitrios, Al Faiya Badr, McArthur Stephen, Kockar Ivana, Lu Haowei, De Leon Francisco 2017 19th International Conference on Intelligent Systems Application to Power Systems (ISAP), (2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ISAP.2017.8071400
Start Year 2016
 
Description International Engagement - Engagement with Chile 
Organisation Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Country Chile 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The following academic member of PU Catolica member of staff have been engaged and have expressed their high interest in collaboration and preparing joint research proposals. Dr Matias Negrete-Pincetic, Dr Daniel Olivares Quero and Dr Javier Pereda Torres all of them from the Energy Research Group, Department of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering at PU Catolica de Chile. Dr Javier Pereda Torres was a PU Catolica memeber of staff visitor at Imperial (2015-2016). Invited to become founder member of U.K.-Chile network of Academic and Research CONICYT (Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica) Chile.
Collaborator Contribution Professor Domingo Mery, Director of Research and Innovation of the School of Engineering at the PU Catolica de Chile, has helped in building broader links across Engineering disciplines between Imperial College London and PU Catolica de Chile. At the local level the open opportunities of at least three possible venues of research by CONICYT (Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica): - International Networks programmes - Joint collaboration programmes - Research staff mobility programmes Also the PU Catolica de Chile has a funding opportunity (seeds funds) that will enable specific and focused research collaborations (2-3 months) to help in the preparation of joint research proposals. There are at least two ongoing collaborations at different levels of maturity.
Impact PU Catolica of Chile - Academic visitors U of Chile - Academic visitors
Start Year 2015
 
Description CIRED Conference - Flexibility from distributed energy resources: generation, storage and responsive demand 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presenting modelling related to importance of flexibility and smart operation in future low carbon energy systems
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Give a talk in China Electric Power Research Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Goran Strbac and Dr Fei Teng were invited to CEPRI to give a talk on the Electricity Market Design and Energy Storage. We also held a discussion with the researchers regarding the electricity market design experience for China.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited Panel Session - IEEE ENERGYCON 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited Panel Session Led at IEEE ENERGYCON Conference, Leuven, Belgium, April 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Keynote in Beihai 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Keynote Speech entitled "Robust Analysis of Smart Distribution Networks" in 2nd International symposium on smart grid methods, tools and technologies, Weihai, China, 4-7 July, 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description UK - China Future Energy workshop in Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a presentation on "Ancillary service requirement and optimisation in the future low carbon system" and the message was well received by the audiences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description UNiLAB Panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Chair of Panel "UNiLAB of Distributed Energy and Microgrids" in International Symposium of Renewable Energy Integration through Mini/Microgrids (REM), Cardiff, UK, 19th Oct, 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description UNiLAB panel in Beijing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Chair of Round Table "Applied Energy UNiLAB" in 2017 China International Electrical and Energy Conference, Beijing, China, 26th Oct, 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Urban Innovation in Brazil Partnership Building Visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited by the InnovateUK and Scottish Power Energy Networks, joined the "Urban Innovation in Brazil Partnership Building Visit" organized by Newton Fund and KTN, and as one of the 14 UK delegated, visited Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte during 21st - 27th Jan 17
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Workshop on nexus of smart energy, intelligent manufacturing and transportation systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Setting research agenda for future intelligent manufacturing and transportation systems
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description keynote speech at Energetika 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Key note speech at the conference talking about challenges and solutions to control of future power networks with RES and storage
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description keynote speech at IEEE MELECON 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Key note speech at the conference talking about challenges and solutions to control of future power networks with RES and storage
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description keynote speech at IET/IEEE Medpower 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Key note speech at the conference talking about challenges and solutions to control of future power networks with RES and storage
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016