Coordinating research in energy networks

Themes

HubNet has identified seven thematic areas where we believe university research has a critical role to play in shaping the future form of low-carbon networks.

There are seven themes in the HubNet programme, as follows:

  • Energy Networks Modelling and Planning
  • Network Control and Operation under Uncertainty
  • Distributed and Intelligent Control
  • Information Systems for Energy Networks
  • Offshore Network Infrastructure
  • Grid-Scale Storage
  • New Distribution Infrastructure

The first four topics were subject of the Flexi-Fund competition run in 2016 and from which 8 projects have been funded by HubNet and will run until 2018.

Grid-scale energy storage is being pursued by two "grand challenge projects" funded by RCUK. Offshore network infrastructure is being pursued through a collection of EPSRC projects from a focused call on HVDC. Some aspects of new technologies for distribution networks are being pursued by the Centre for Power Electronics.

From 2011 - 2016 we organized our work under the follow six themes:

  • The design of smart grids, in particular the application of communication technologies to the operation of electricity networks and the harnessing of the demand-side for the control and optimisation of the power system.
  • The development of a mega grid that would link the UK's energy network to renewable energy sources offshore, across Europe and beyond.
  • Research on future asset technologies materials science for higher capacity, lower loss cables and other assets and managing transition assets through recognition of the need for deeper understanding of how long-life equipment is managed and monitored.
  • The development of new techniques to study multi-energy systems - the interaction between multiple energy vectors and optimally coordinate the planning and operation of energy networks under uncertainty.
  • Research into power electronics technologies - a focus on how new semiconductor technologies could lead to lower-cost, lower-loss power electronics suitable for wider-scale network deployment.
  • Energy storage: determining how and where storage brings value to operation of an electricity grid and determining technology-neutral specification targets for the development of grid scale energy storage.