Local indicators and potential for Electrification of heat with a focus on multi-vector integration including hydrogen

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Bartlett Sch of Env, Energy & Resources


The proposed issue of this PhD is to look at these local, regional and national indicators and to define a methodology to provide recommendations on appropriate technologies or combinations of technologies to be deployed with a focus on the local context. The PhD student will work closely with the UCL team, using the 3D-Stock Model. This model currently provides a 3D representation of built forms, together with construction information, ages and thermal properties, and other energy related data for the whole of London; the intention is to extend it to cover the whole of the UK. This will ultimately support a highly granular model of the whole UK building stock, and provide a platform for managing and organising multiple strands of information including, inputs from stakeholders (including, but not limited to EDF), and output from whole energy systems models such as UKTM and ESTIMO.
A major outcome from the project will be a methodology to provide preliminary evaluations of candidate technologies (hybrid heat pumps, electric boilers, AS/GS heat pumps, H2 boilers and fuel cells, district heating, individual or hub heat storage...) to be deployed in any given area, for subsequent discussion with key stakeholders. This phase could include solutions testing, in the lab or in the field.
Studentship aims
As this is now widely understood, there will likely not be one unique solution to the decarbonisation of residential heat, but multiple routes depending on the interplay of constraints and opportunities at multiple levels from local to national context. A key problem will be to understand the potential for synergies between the electricity grid, a decarbonised gas grid, and heat networks, in the context of rapid evolution of individual technologies and costs. The project has the potential to make a significant impact on one of the most important strategic problems facing the UK.
The overall outcomes of the PhD will be:
1. Technology and system recommendations with focus on multi-vector solutions, for the decarbonisation of residential heat and taking account of recent work at UCL on energy system architecture
2. Overall potential impact of decarbonisation on energy system resilience in the UK,
3. Analysis of the UK-wide system from the perspective of compatibility of electrification with an incremental evolution of the gas system (from methane to H2).


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S021671/1 30/09/2019 30/03/2028
2423533 Studentship EP/S021671/1 27/09/2020 26/09/2021 Orlando Martin