Urban Energy Rhythms

Lead Research Organisation: University of Reading
Department Name: Built Enviroment


Active management of energy demand will be an essential part of our future smart cities, and as a consequence, fundamental assumptions must be reflected in system design from the outset. Energy demand can only be managed in so far as either the user is prepared to forego an energy service (discretionary) or the system includes built-in (latent) energy storage. If neither of these criteria is met, flexible supply or additional energy storage will likely be needed in preference to demand management.

Working with UK construction leader Costain, whose catalogue of awards recognise them as best innovators of technologies for construction and by applying your research within their most influential projects, you will combine modelling at different levels of complexity to enable simulations and analysis of different energy scenarios within mixed use developments that span commercial and residential communities. Overall the project aims to characterise the energy input/output behaviour of distinct development component types and, through simulation modelling, develop design recommendations for improving the deployment of energy generating and management assets.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/P510622/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1789222 Studentship EP/P510622/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2020 Patrick Emma Agese
Description Design of energy infrastructure has typically concentrated on power capacity and an emphasis on peak throughput, whereas energy usage has more commonly been a concern for supply contracts. Dramatic changes in our energy systems, reflected in emerging smart grid concepts, are bringing a greater need to understand multiple temporal characteristics of energy behaviour. This richer understanding is becoming increasingly significant when planning our urban energy systems. This research has explored methods of characterising energy assets which can assist energy system planners to deliver a more flexible urban energy system.
Exploitation Route Early exploratory findings can be used to explore methods of characterising urban energy assets to assist in designing a more flexible system. Network operators can apply various methods to design decision tools to support planning objectives.
Sectors Energy,Transport

URL https://www.costain.com/what-we-do/power/urban-energy-rhythms-conference/
Description The research has assisted Costain in developing their green energy strategy to support the integration of future energy and transport system. The Urban Energy Rhythms project hosted a conference which was attended by over 60 stakeholders from across the energy and transport industry. The research highlight was also featured on Costain's innovation portal which helped support industry engagement. The research has also supported international knowledge transfer with InnovateUK on the use of electric vehicles to support grid flexibility services. This was held as part of a UK-Nordic roundtable which featured both industry and academia in discussing possible solutions to electric vehicle charging integration to the energy system.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Energy,Transport
Description Costain: Integrated Transport and Smart Energy Solutions for Major Urban Developments 
Organisation Costain Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution My research supported the development of the feasibility study aimed at exploring the use of electric vehicles to provide electricity network flexibility. This was in collaboration with the wider Costain innovation team. I was involved in disseminating the findings from the study at various industry conferences such as Big think innovation expo, and InnovateUK roundtable discussions.
Collaborator Contribution The partner (Costain) provided data and insight into the energy demand of the asset being examined for the study. They were also involved in the project management and reporting directly to innovateUk.
Impact The technical feasibility of installing V2G at the two pilot sites was identified, both in terms of electricity network infrastructure, building demand requirements and vehicle use patterns. Findings from this feasibility study led to further funding opportunities for large scale demonstrator projects.
Start Year 2017