Ebbs and Flows of Energy Systems (EFES)

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering


This project builds upon the Ebbs and Flows of Energy Systems feasibility study (31737-230167) and demonstrates the
development, impact and business potential of a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) integrating; building energy management,
renewable electricity generation, electric vehicles and battery storage systems. The project will manage the electricity use
of a range of sites, from single properties through to large commercial premises. The proposed management system uses
algorithm based predictive control to enable and optimise the active utilisation of multiple electric vehicle and domestic
storage batteries as an energy storage and generation resource. The project will demonstrate VPP functionality,
aggregating the disparate energy distributed energy resources to provide wider network ancillary support services, such as
peak shaving. This will reduce variability in electricity demand levels, cost and CO2 emissions, plus improve the UK grid
security of supply.
Energy storage is one of the eight great technologies identified by the government to propel the UK to future growth (David
Willetts MP, Policy Exchange, 2013). The RCUK Review of Energy in 2010 highlights that R&D into energy storage has the
potential to yield high levels of decarbonisation beyond 2030. The TSB (Energy Supply Strategy, 2012) states that battery
related R&D within the energy and transport sectors is a UK priority that will benefit from public investment.

Planned Impact

We have a project management structure to allow all investigators to pursue the most promising lines of research to
maximise impact. There are four important aspects to dissemination: the academic community, the distribution utilities, EV
manufacturers and the policy makers.
The research challenges are such that publication of results in international IET and IEEE conferences (such as the IEEE
Power Soc. General Meeting, CIRED and CIGRE), and ultimately in learned journals.
Two workshops will be organised by Cardiff University to publicise the emerging results of this consortium's work and to
discuss technical issues. The advisory companies will be closely involved in the progress of the work through project
meetings. The involvement of car manufacturer, DNOs and utility companies in the Advisory Board means a logical route to
exploitation exists.
Consortium members are already engaging with industry, government and end users through existing projects, and been
involved in organising and a diverse range of impact routes through working with regional and national governments,
commercial and not-for-profit organisations and advising on the setting of energy standards and regulations. This network
of engagements will continue and expand for informing the policy makers and industry about the findings and effective
knowledge exchange will be achieved. Prof. Nick Jenkins is directly involved with the Ofgem / DECC group on Smart Grids.
Consortium members have established formal and informal links with international collaborators in Europe and USA, and
opportunities for new connections are presented by COST Action "Autonomic Road Transport Support Systems."
Our project will be specifically developing demonstration case studies showing how EVs will impact the electricity systems,
which should be of great relevance to DNO. Contributions will continue to be made through Grid Code and Engineering
Recommendations revisions in the UK, and also through technology evaluation and demonstration.
Engagement in DECC/OFGEM Smart Grids Forum, Low Carbon Network Fund bids, Innovation Funding Incentive projects,
and the Energy Technologies Institute infrastructure programme, all provide the academics with pathways to impact. The
focus on tangible technological outputs, together with the informing context of case studies, provides a strong delivery
mechanism for communicating emerging technology options.
This project contributes to more cost effective integration of EVs and renewables along with reduction of CO2 emissions
and thus will benefit society at large.


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Marmaras C (2017) Predicting the energy demand of buildings during triad peaks in GB in Energy and Buildings
Description Electric vehicles (EVs) have the potential to transform the way we use energy on a daily basis. Electricity demand across the UK varies depending upon the time of day and year. For example, peak electricity demand for the UK is between 4 and 7pm on a week day. This is because everyone has arrived home from work and turned on multiple appliances, causing a massive increase in electricity requirements to the National Grid. Currently this is supported by large fossil fuel power stations that run around the clock to anticipate any increase in the base demand. However, this additional demand could instead be provided through utilising the excess electricity stored in an EV or battery storage asset, redistributing the electricity across the local network and as such reducing the requirements on traditional power stations.
The project developed the following key technologies:
• Virtual Power Plant conceptual framework for enabling the coordination between EV, domestic storage, load and renewable generation, taking into account the technical, economical and communication requirements for acting as a VPP
• Local Energy Management System (LEMS) to control Electric Vehicle charging and Energy Storage Units within built environments
• VPP control algorithms for Peak shaving (flatten the demand profile of the building facility and reduce its peak); Triad avoidance (reduction the demand of building facility during triad peaks in order to reduce the Transmission Network Use of System charges) and Demand Side Response (enable the participation of the building manager in the grid balancing services market )
• Cloud-based deployment of Local Energy Management System
Exploitation Route The developed VPP could support the transition to a low carbon economy, by combining EVs, renewable generation and smart energy management.
The VPP developed is optimising the charging and discharging of electric vehicles to minimise CO2 emissions, costs and improve efficiency.
The VPP will allow residential and commercial customers to participate in demand response programs and help them in generating additional revenues.
The EVs owners could benefit from the storage services.When parked, the EVs battery can be used to let electricity flow to the electric distribution network and back, which has potential to provide around $4000 (£3274) per car, per year. This will have a significant impact in reducing the cost of operating an electric vehicle.
Sectors Education,Energy,Transport
URL http://www.cenex.co.uk/news/cenex-leading-installation-uks-first-domestic-vehicle-grid-unit/
Description Member in the Industrial Advisory Board 
Organisation National Grid Transco
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I was seconded at National Grid working in the Energy Insights department.
Collaborator Contribution A member of the Energy Insights department is acting in an advisory role. He advise my research team in the development of an algorithm for predicting the energy demand of buildings during triad peaks in GB.
Impact 10.1016/j.enbuild.2017.02.046
Start Year 2015