The increasing amounts of renewable energy present on the national grid reduce C02 emissions caused by electrical power but they fit into an electrical grid designed for fossil fuels. Fossil fuels can be turned on and off at will and so are very good at matching variations in load. Renewable energy in the form of wind turbines is more variable (although that variability is much more predictable than most people think) and there is a need for existing power plants to operate much more flexibly to accommodate the changing power output from wind, tidal and solar power.
Funding (ca. £3m) has been secured from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Scottish Government, Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and ETP Member Universities to establish a Knowledge Exchange (KE) Network. This will catalyse and accelerate KE activity between academia and SMEs, thereby increasing innovation, advancing the development of the low carbon economy in Scotland and supporting Scotland, UK and the EU to meet ambitious 2020 low carbon targets.
EURECA, the Effects of Utilisation in Real-time on Electricity Capacity Assessments, investigates the operating regimes of thermal power plants in future generation portfolios with large amounts of variable renewable energy sources (VRE). The impacts of additional VRE and energy storage capacity on the operating profiles and flexibility of thermal power plans are investigated using a unit commitment and energy storage optimisation model.
The Scottish Government is committed to promoting substantial sustainable growth in its marine renewable industries. Agreements for sea bed leases are already in place for 2GW of wave and tidal developments, and projects are progressing through the licensing process. Strategic marine planning for future phases of wave, tidal and offshore wind development is now in progress. For marine renewables to significantly contribute to the low-carbon energy mix towards 2050, significant offshore development in the form of very large scale arrays will be needed.
Practical marine energy resources are subject to social and ecological constraints, such as conflict with other users of the sea and environmental protection. This research aims to contribute to a greater understanding of the practical constraints on marine energy developments, the extent to which they may limit the amount of power available for extraction and, most importantly, how energy production may be optimised within the limits set by these constraints.
The research in this project will focus on modelling full resource-to-wire dynamic models of tidal arrays in order to investigate and optimise their operation. The expected impact of this study is providing industry with an understanding and guidelines of the applicability of the different electrical layouts to specific locations and size of the arrays.
Compare different generator technologies and control theories
Validate models using real measured data
Perform harmonic analysis and accurate loss modelling based on temperature/frequency variations
Suggest cost-effective solutions for device developers