Projects: Projects for Investigator 

Reference Number  EP/I017054/1  
Title  Mathematical foundations for energy networks: buffering, storage and transmission  
Status  Completed  
Energy Categories  Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electricity transmission and distribution) 90%; Other Power and Storage Technologies(Energy storage) 10%; 

Research Types  Basic and strategic applied research 100%  
Science and Technology Fields  PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Applied Mathematics) 50%; PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Computer Science and Informatics) 50%; 

UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation  Systems Analysis related to energy R&D 50%; Systems Analysis related to energy R&D (Other Systems Analysis) 50%; 

Principal Investigator 
Professor S Foss No email address given Sch of Mathematical and Computer Science HeriotWatt University 

Award Type  Standard  
Funding Source  EPSRC  
Start Date  23 January 2011  
End Date  30 September 2015  
Duration  56 months  
Total Grant Value  £487,906  
Industrial Sectors  Energy  
Region  Scotland  
Programme  Energy Research Capacity, Mathematical Sciences  
Investigators  Principal Investigator  Professor S Foss , Sch of Mathematical and Computer Science, HeriotWatt University (99.999%) 
Other Investigator  Dr S Zachary , Sch of Mathematical and Computer Science, HeriotWatt University (0.001%) 

Web Site  
Objectives  The following grants are linked: EP/I016953/1, EP/I017054/1 and EP/I016023/1  
Abstract  Electrical power grids are complex networked systems. Demand andsupply must be balanced on a minutebyminute basis and there arelimited opportunities for largescale storage. Further, flows innetworks are subject to the laws of physics, so that there is verylittle control over the routing of flows; generating capacity cannotin general be instantly switched on or off; sources of generationcapacity, whether renewable or nuclear, are often located far from theurban and industrial areas they must serve. In today's market theprovision of generation capacity is typically determined by marketforces in which many competing operators each seek to optimize theirown returns.The need to reduce carbon emissions has led to new policy which willtransform the grid. Notably, renewable sources suchaswind powerproduce supplies which are highly variable, and often unpredictableeven on relatively short time scales. To combat this variability theintroduction of demand response through dynamic prices has beenproposed. There is also significant future potential for thebuffering and storage of electrical energy over short time scales.These possibilities are integrated through the advent of smartgridtechnology, with the possibility of realtime price signalling towhich consumers may respond flexibly. Further, the availability tothe network of significant shortterm buffering and storage, alongwith the ability to timeshift demand, should assist in the avoidanceof transient monopolies (localised in space or time) which isconsidered to be one of the reasons for the problems encounteredinthe deregulated market in California in the last decade.The energy grid of the future thus poses formidable challenges forengineers and mathematicians. Among the questions to be answered are: will geographic diversity of supply help to reduce volatility? will demand response through pricing help to reduce the impactof volatility? to what extent can buffering and storage assist in thebalancingof supply and demand? what is the effect of power system dynamics in a volatilenetwork? how may we schedule generation units and calculate efficientreserves for a reliable grid in this more complex setting? how do we do better forecasting in this new world?We propose to develop mathematical techniques to assist in answeringthese questions, to measure the costs of addressing the volatilitiesinfuture networks, and to assess the comparative effectiveness of thevarious forms of time and spaceshifting of energy which may be used;this will then enable the benefits of such measures to be tradedagainst each other. We shall develop these techniques in the contextof the transmission and distribution networks: while buffering,storage and the timeshifting of demand all correspond to movingenergy through time, the ability of the network to move energy throughspace  determined by the capacities in its links and the laws ofphysics  is inextricably linked to the benefits of moving energythrough time.There are two major and interlinked themes: (a) the development of themathematics of volatility in energy networks: of particular importancehere is the creation ofa calculus of effectivecapacities, formeasuring capacity required by flows exhibiting volatility on a rangeof time and spacescales, and for determining those time andspacescales which are of critical importance in the operation of anetwork; and (b) the development of advanced probabilistic techniquesfor measuring the effects of extreme events in networks. These twothemes together provide the results necessary toassess, control andoptimize the performance of energy networks, and to devise the pricingand incentivisation schemes for competing suppliers, operators andconsumers so as to maximise economic efficiency  
Publications  (none) 

Final Report  (none) 

Added to Database  22/10/10 