Energy Infrastructure is one of the research themes under which Energy Futures Lab organises its activity and the energy research being done at the College.
There is a lot of work being done at Imperial to strengthen the energy infrastructure and rethink how organisations and people use energy. This research is centred on multi-physics, multi-scale modelling of energy systems and energy systems integration. It is also includes research on integrating technologies such as smart grids, energy storage and cross-vector conversion.
These are a selection of the projects being done under the Energy Infrstaructure theme at the College.
Integrated Development of Low carbon Energy Systems
Integrated Development of Low-Carbon Energy Systems (IDLES) is multi-disciplinary programme of analytical work that spans critical areas of whole energy system analysis to support strategic planning.
The project aims to tackle the issue of the evidence that is used by governments and businesses to formulate their strategies around the long-term evolution of energy systems.
The FUSION project is developing a system to manage a flexible, smart energy network. The team are implementing an intelligent competitive marketplace where energy flexibility and demand-side response can be bought and sold. The results could save customers £236m by 2050, and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by 3.6m tonnes.
Led at the College by Professor Goran Strbac of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the project's partners are SP Energy Networks, DNV GL, Origami Energy, PassivSystems, SAC Consulting, The University of St Andrews, Fife Council and Bright Green Hydrogen.
The project recieved funding of £6m from InnovateUK and will run between January 2018 and December 2022.
Sustainability for Sainsbury’s
- Create multiple zero-carbon stores across the UK,
- Improve regional monitoring of carbon
- Empower energy efficiency programs
- Increase use of low-carbon energy
The EDF FlexiFund was a collaboration between the College and EDF Energy.
The initiative enabled short-term exploratory projects in areas of common interest to both.:
- Impact of energy markets regulations and incentives on new generation technologies and new business models
- Heat electrification and management of electricity system
- B2B Energy Services
The EDF SparkFund was a collaboration between Energy Futures Lab and EDF Energy R&D UK Centre. The initiative enabled short-term exploratory projects in areas of common interest to both. The programme was a successor to the EDF Energy FlexiFund, which had run for four years.
Beyond structural; multifunctional composites that store electrical energy
The Beyond Structural project is led by Dr Emile Greenhalgh of the Department of Aeronautics. The team are focussed on structural supercapacitors that can provide both mechanical load bearing and electrical energy storage.
Their aim is to improve:
- How much electrical energy these devices can store
- How quickly they can be charged or discharged
- Their mechanical performance
The project has recieved funding of £836,406 from EPSRC and runs February 2017 to August 2020.
Flexible Urban Networks Low Voltage
The Flexible Urban Networks Low Voltage project (FUN-LV) was funded by OFGEM to investigate using smart technologies to balance the flow of power around a regional electricity grid can help existing infrastructure to support increased demand and make it easier to connect low carbon technologies and distributed generation in urban areas.
It was led at the College by Professor Tim Greenof the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and ran Jan 2014 to Dec 2016.
Reduced Energy Recycling of Lead Acid Batteries
Reduced Energy Recycling of Lead Acid Batteries (RELAB) is a project developing new technology to improve recycling of lead-acid batteries. It is a collaboration between the College and Envirowales Ltd, a lead-acid battery recycler.
Energy-Use Minimisation via High Performance Heat-Power-Cooling Conversion and Integration
The Energy-Use Minimisation via High Performance Heat-Power-Cooling Conversion and Integration project(iHPC) is studying new technological solutions in the heat-to-power and heat-to-cooling sector. The team are developing energy-conversion technologies with integrated energy-storage capabilities.
They are working on:
- Heat-to-power with organic Rankine cycle
- Heat-to-cooling with absorption refrigeration
- Enable the widespread uptake of these technologies
- Understand their optimal integration with existing energy systems and energy-efficiency strategies,
- Increase performance while lowering costs helping reduce the payback time
Resilient Hybrid Technology for High-Value Microgrids
The Resilient Hybrid Technology for High-Value Microgrids project (RHYTHM) is investigating hybrid AC-DC microgrids with a combination of loads, generation and energy storage. The team's initial focus is on providing reliable energy provision in high-value service provider buildings but this should also generate knowledge that will be useful in other applications and at greater distribution network scale.
A large-scale Multi-antenna Multi-sine Wireless Power Transfer architecture
A large-scale Multi-antenna Multi-sine Wireless Power Transfer architecture project (M2WPT) is developing a viable wireless power transfer system using radio-frequencies.
The team plan to:
- Design and model an energy harvester
- Design large-scale multi-sine multi-antenna waveforms for single and multi-user scenarios
- Demonstrate the feasibility through experiment and measurement.
Led by Dr Bruno Clerckz of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering it has Eindhoven University of Technology, the Home Office, Keysight Technologies UK Ltd, KU Leuven and Toshiba as partners. The project received £676,973 of funding from EPSRC and will run January 2017 to Decemebr 2019.
Resilient Electricity Networks for a productive Grid Architecture
The Resilient Electricity Networks for a productive Grid Architecture project (RENGA) is developing systems to bridge the gap between, individual renewable power sources, mini-grids and a national grid in developing nations.
The team are working on:
- Creating technologies that can connect Solar Home Systems, mini-grids and a wider electricity grid in a safe and cost-effective way
- Developing strategies so that individual systems can operate reliably one their own or as part of an interconnected system;
- Drafting a radically new roadmap for the expansion of the electrical power system that will guarantee security of supply and resiliency by using distributed energy resources with smart controls.
Led by Dr Adria Junyent-Ferre of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the team also inlcudes researchers in the Department of Physics and the Centre of Environmental Policy.
The project received £984,148 of funding from EPSRC and will run May 2018 to October 2020.
Urban Energy Systems
The Urban Energy Systems project was a collaboration between BP and a number of departments at Imperial College London. It was led by professors Nilay Shah and David Fisk. The project ran for five years, from 1 November 2005 to 31 December 2010, with BP providing around £5M of funding over this period.