go to top scroll for more


Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/W028905/1
Title Aviation-to-Grid: Grid flexibility through multiscale modelling and integration of power systems with electrified air transport
Status Started
Energy Categories Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Energy system analysis) 10%;
Energy Efficiency(Transport) 30%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electricity transmission and distribution) 50%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Energy storage) 10%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Computer Science and Informatics) 40%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 10%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 80%;
Systems Analysis related to energy R&D (Other Systems Analysis) 20%;
Principal Investigator Dr X Zhang

Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Brunel University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 22 August 2023
End Date 21 February 2026
Duration 30 months
Total Grant Value £402,860
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region London
Programme Energy and Decarbonisation
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr X Zhang , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Brunel University (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Cardiff University (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Grid plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , UK Power Networks (0.000%)
Project Contact , Department for Transport (DfT) (0.000%)
Project Contact , Heathrow Aiport Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Supergen Energy Networks Hub (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Aviation is arguably one of the most difficult sectors to be decarbonised. The UK government's recent Transport Decarbonisation Plan targets for Accelerating Aviation Decarbonisation to reach net zero by 2050, aiming to decarbonise emissions from airport operations in England by 2040, and to support the development of new and zero carbon UK aircraft technology (1). The Department for Transport's Aviation Strategy recommends electrification as a possible solution to mitigate aviation's carbon emissions (2). Electrification technologies are being deployed successfully in land-based transport. Electrification is now being challenged to address the more ambitious aviation decarbonisation. In the air, electric and hybrid aircraft particularly for short-haul or regional electric aircraft have advanced rapidly. On the ground, UK airports (Heathrow as a project partner of this proposal) lead pilot decarbonisation projects to enable the transition to regional electric and sustainable aviation, and shape the landscape of future low-carbon infrastructure and services.Currently, there is a significant disconnect between power systems and electrified air transport in terms of energy users and suppliers, infrastructure and interoperability to achieve the net-zero in both industries. The electrification of aviation will create a new nexus between power systems and electrified air transport. There are several key challenges:1) The power systems will require electrified aviation to integrate into ground energy infrastructure and must not overload the future grid.2) Electrified aviation as a new energy user requires the power systems to supply large volumes of low-carbon electricity to meet new loads of electric aircraft.3) Significant charging infrastructures are required. Our feasibility study on a UK airport indicates that even if only 10% domestic flights are electrified then £50M will need to be spent on charging infrastructure.4) Significantly high costs will be incurred for building additional power generation capacity. Our initial study indicates 15 GW additional power generation capacity will be required if 45% of UK domestic flights are electrified.This proposed research will explore the fundamental integration of a new nexus between power system and electrified air transport system, named 'Aviation-to-Grid', with an ambitious aim to bridge the significant disconnect between two systems in terms of energy demand and supply, infrastructure and interoperability. This will be achieved by using the multiscale energy modelling and system integration as key research methods. A new concept of Aviation-to-Grid flexibility will be investigated as a potential solution to unlock the flexibility provisions from Aviation-to-Grid, so that infrastructure and operation costs can be reduced and co-optimised across both systems. This project, for the first time, brings power industry (National Grid ESO), airport operators (Heathrow Airport), energy infrastructure solutions (UK Power Networks Services), transport policy (Department for Transport) and the UK academic communities (Supergen, DTE Network) together in a truly interdisciplinary manner.In this project, multiscale energy modelling (WP1) and multiscale system integration (WP2) will explore a bottom-up approach across the new nexus of power systems and electrified air transport. Aviation-to-Grid flexibility provisions will be evaluated with cost-benefit analysis (WP3). Industrial application potential of Aviation-to-Grid flexibility will be demonstrated in a real-time simulation platform in the lab using representative case studies with recommendations for implementation (WP4).(1) Decarbonising transport: a better, greener Britain, Department for Transport, 14 July 2021(2) Aviation 2050 - the future of UK aviation, Department for Transport, 22 October 2019
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 02/11/22