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Energy storage for large biomass plant flexibility

About This PhD Project

Project Description

While large scale biomass fired thermal plant can play an important part in future electricity production, they must be able to respond to an increasingly dynamic electricity system. Increasing penetration of variable wind and solar means dispatchable plant must be flexible to unexpected demands for additional generation.

In the longer term measures to electrify aspects of heat and transport will result in very different demand profiles. Increasing the flexibility of existing power plants is essential to the further integration of renewable sources into the system. Energy storage is one means of providing that flexibility without impacting greatly on the operation and efficiency of the underlying plant.

This PhD project will investigate how generator-owned energy storage systems can work with large biomass plant to provide the required flexibility. The following aspects are likely to be important:
- Technology selection (e.g. Battery Systems, Compressed-air, Local steam storage, Hydrogen) and engineering integration with the host plant(s)
- Storage operating strategies (charge/discharge), accounting for both plant dynamics and demand patterns, together with any temporal degradation effects (e.g. impacts of battery cycling)
- System techno-economics and operator business models
- Flexibility to long term energy system changes e.g. large changes in demand patterns, demand for alternative vectors (e.g. hydrogen)

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