In view of the quests to achieve greener future and hence, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 7 (clean and affordable energy for all) and 11 (smart cities and communities), current policies in the UK and globally are facilitating the decarbonisation of modern power grids. This decarbonisation trend is clearly demonstrated by the increasing uptake of solar and wind farms and low carbon technologies (e.g., electric vehicles) in modern power networks. Nevertheless, this paradigm shift introduces both opportunities and challenges in relation to the operation and planning philosophy of the modern power grid especially at the distribution level. For instance, the intermittent generation from solar photovoltaics could lead to voltage fluctuation challenge in the network. Thus, battery energy storage systems (BESSs) have become useful additions to the power grid to address some of the above challenges from renewables. In fact, with BESS, flexibility services such as network peak demand shaving are now available to the system operators. Given that these flexibility services are procured by distribution system operators from aggregators or consumers, some interesting questions can be posed viz: where multiple BESSs are integrated at similar locations in the network, which should be accepted to provide a specific amount of power to help manage the network at a given time? Are distribution system operators better off choosing flexibility service providers solely based on how cheap the services are? Are there any technical and operational challenges associated with the bidirectional flow of energy due to the charging and discharging of the BESS during the provision of the flexibility services and how would these influence the overall network operating performance? How can flexibility services from BESS be maximised? And so on. This PhD studentship will seek to address these questions.
The ideal candidate will hold a masters level degree in Electrical Power Systems (or its equivalent) with first class honours (distinction), have excellent technical knowledge of modern power systems, demonstrate working knowledge of Matlab/Simulink and Python scripting, be able to work in a team and have good command of both written and spoken English.
As the project involves partnership with TNEI Services Ltd, the successful candidate must be willing to undertake 3-months of industrial placement at TNEI office and participate in relevant events of the Living Sustainably Catalyst of Royal Holloway University of London. Please note that this studentship is for 3.5-years, and cover tuition fees at Home level and an annual stipend at Research Council UK rates (£18,062 will be the 2022/23 rate, including £2000 London Weighting). Therefore, any international candidate will need to make up the difference between home and international fees.
Applications should be made in the first instance to Dr Onyema Nduka at [Email Address Removed].
Please ensure you include relevant documents such as your recent CV, MSc and BEng (or their equivalent) certificates and transcripts, and a personal statement. The successful applicant will be required to provide two academic references and proof of proficiency in English language.