Doctorate in Applied and Engineering Physics  

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Thesis Proposal for the

Doctorate Program in Applied and Engineering Physics (DAEPHYS)

Starting in the Academic Year 2016/2017


Proposal 041


Title:Advanced algorithms for the real time balancing of the energy supply, demand and storage towards nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB)
 
Objectives (recommended length: 2000-3000 char):
The current simplified and high-level value chain in energy sector can be divided to six different parts: energy generation, energy transmission, energy distribution, and energy consumption, which are linked to energy bulk and retail markets. These form a dual flow value chain that converges at both ends of production and consumption. The current value chain is highly based on centralized generation, transmission, distribution, sales and consumption of energy. The market trends indicate that future smart energy systems, should include distributed generation, embedded generation and possibility for storing energy. There is an on-going transformation in the value chain by adding elements that either affect the volumes participating in the existing chain or by changing the role of players to incorporate multiple parts of the chain (IEA Technology Roadmap, Smart Grids ).
The proposed work will address scientific challenges associated with this clear market opportunity, helping to research and develop a cutting-edge solution to deliver Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (NZEB) performance as part of an energy management distributed approach ensuring strong contribution to balance the energy supply, demand and storage.
Key objective for the proposed work will encompasses the:
• Understanding of the current and future potential of Virtual Power Plants, including energy software platforms able to manage distributed energy generation and storage and combine energy monitoring and management with the ability to optimise consumption and loads and IoT systems based on sensor networks to change energy end-user behaviours to improve the integrated usage of energy resources (load, production, storage);
• Freedom to operate and IPR analysis of energy management systems encompassing sophisticated supply and demand balancing by matching load fluctuations through forecasting advanced algorithms, smart metering, and remote control, while also performing real-time optimization of energy resources, energy generation and storage;
• Data analysis for optimisation of the time and source of energy consumption to match changing tariff structures for grid and the on-site renewables generation, and management of the energy storage;
• Development of models and algorithms to learn the preferences of user-groups and individual users in a population concerning cost-comfort-emissions trade-offs concerning energy production, storage, and consumption;
• Develop analytics engine to provide real-time information, alerts and recommendations and produce energy key performance indicators (on costs, environmental impact and end-user comfort) to commercial and industrial energy service clients.
 
Framework (recommended length: 500-2000 char):
With the introduction of the smart grid concept, rigorous changes have begun to take place in the power networks. As grids are undergoing a significant transformation in order to follow the technological changes and explore the new opportunities stemming, Demand Response and Load Management are acknowledged as a key elements of development in the future smart networks. The approach combines significant scientific fields such as Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy Sources and Distributed Energy Resources integration as well as Energy Management with valuable active end-users engagement in order to achieve the desired shifting of peak loads (Demand Response: a decisive breakthrough for Europe, Capgemini; Household Response to Dynamic Pricing of Electricity Faruqui, A. and Sergici, S. (2009).
The buildings alone represent 40% of final energy consumption, which offers the highest potential for efficiency improvement and savings on energy bills. Companies with often large-scale, diverse estates with significant utility costs, complex operational requirements and increasing regulation requiring proof of effective energy and carbon management. Moreover, enabling the consumers to monetise the flexibility embedded in their peak demand and providing a wide range of users, from industrial and commercial to domestic, the means of gaining real time, active management of their energy, minimising unnecessary usage and future proofing their consumption against changes in tariff structures, is a value proposition with a huge market opportunity and relevant scientific challenges.
 
Tasks (recommended length: 1000-3000 char):
T1 – Literature review;

T2 – Study of the current and future potential of Virtual Power Plants and its freedom-to-operate, including energy software platforms able to manage distributed energy generation and storage and combine energy monitoring and management with the ability to optimise consumption and loads and IoT systems based on sensor networks to change energy end-user behaviours to improve the integrated usage of energy resources (load, production, storage);

T3 - Simulations for optimisation of the time and source of energy consumption to match changing tariff structures for grid and the on-site renewables generation, and management of the energy storage;

T4 - Development and implementation of models and algorithms to learn the preferences of user-groups and individual users in a population concerning cost-comfort-emissions trade-offs concerning energy production, storage, and consumption;

T5 - System integration to provide real-time information, alerts and recommendations and produce energy key performance indicators (on costs, environmental impact and end-user comfort) to commercial and industrial energy service clients;

T6 - IPR analysis to patent the models and algorithms for a sophisticated supply and demand balancing by matching load fluctuations through forecasting advanced algorithms, smart metering, and remote control, while also performing real-time optimization of energy resources, energy generation and storage;

T7 – Papers and thesis writing and preparation for public defense.
 
Research centre/lab or R&D unit hosting the thesis project:
ISA Energy/ Virtual Power Solutions
 
University to which the thesis project will be presented:
UC - Universidade de Coimbra
 
DAEPHYS Scientific Domain in which the project fits:
Instrumentation
 
Relation of the project to the Scientific Domains of DAEPHYS:
This proposal main objective is the development models and algorithms for a sophisticated supply and demand balancing system by matching load fluctuations through forecasting advanced algorithms, smart metering, and remote control, while also performing real-time optimization of energy resources, energy generation and storage. The system is supported by Smart Sensor Networks (SWNs) that constitutes a fundamental ingredient of the future smart networks and will lead the way towards the smart grid’s extension to residential premises. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) enable the adoption of a set of dynamic energy management related strategies through sensing, gathering and disseminating information and data useful for the efficient operation of the power network. Additionally, the integration of WSN into the smart grid infrastructures provides innovative services and applications through which the active engagement of consumers is facilitated.
 
Candidate profile:
We are looking for a dedicated, hardworking candidate, with know-how in the areas of Energy, data analysis, instrumentation, signal processing and programming.
 
Does this proposal involve more than one University?:
no
 
Synergies between the two Universities participating in the proposal:
DAEPHYS strongly encourages the presentation of thesis projects in co-supervision by researchers from two of the universities participating in the Program. In this field, explain the benefits resulting from the proposed co-supervision and the involvement of elements from the two universities, e.g. building critical mass teams, profiting from existing infrastructures or advanced equipments, profiting from expert technical know-how, etc. If the proposal involves only one University, write n/a.
(recommended length: 500-1000 char)
:
 
Does this proposal involve a company?:
yes
 
Proposals involving a company:
DAEPHYS strongly encourages the presentation of thesis projects involving a company, preferably a high-tech company. These proposals have to: 1) be centered on a technological problem in which the partner company has been (or plan / would like to be) involved; 2) have a co-supervisor on the enterprise; 3) include part of the project to be carried out in the company.
(recommended length: 500-1000 char)
: The proposed work will be closely accompanied by Virtual Power Solution (VPS) – former ISA Energy – team of experts. VPS is an innovative, market leader in the design and operation of dynamic connected platforms, providing real-time granular data to consumers, network operators and utilities. VPS has strong knowledge and experience in Internet of Things (IoT), developing hardware and software solutions, M2M communication platforms based on cloud and mobile applications for Smart Homes and Smart Cities, acquiring and processing millions of data every day to provide its customers with valuable information from its data centre to all-over the world. It has a track record of more than 50,000 successfully installed products (banks, hotels, industry, airports, hospitals, universities, retail, utilities and municipalities) spread along the 5 continents proving the high quality, value and reliability of VPS solutions.

 

Supervisor

Name:Jorge Landeck
Institution:UC
email:jlandeck@uc.pt
 
link to CV or indication of ORCID ID:
http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4666-9722

 

Co-Supervisor

Name:Luísa Matos
Institution:ISA Energy/ VPS
email:lmatos@isaenergy.pt
 
link to CV or indication of ORCID ID:
https://pt.linkedin.com/in/luisamatos

 

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