Why do we need Energy Storage in Buildings?

aKdV8MM-Pint Of Science 2016 begins tonight (23/05)! To get you excited Andreas Georgakarakos (@andrewGRK) kindly previewed his forthcoming talk “Why do we need Energy Storage in Buildings?” at The Doctor’s Orders, Sheffield on the 24/05. Check out our other preview pieces too!

Andreas is a Mechanical & Environmental Engineer, PhD Researcher at Energy Storage CDT, University of Sheffield.

The Energy Trilemma (security of supply, low-carbon production and affordability) is driving a trend toward electrification of the UK energy market. The increasing proportion of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) will result in stochastic supply whilst electrification of demand requires a more certain supply. Hence supply is less assured but growth of demand requires a greater level of assurance. The role of the Smart Grid is therefore to balance these competing requirements. Systems theory suggests that by aligning all sub-systems to common goals the overall system gains.

Therefore, Smart Grids need to interact with edge systems such as buildings. Non-domestic buildings have great potential to be utilised by the Smart Grid in managing energy demand. The functional characteristics of a building designed to work as a sub-system within a wider smart grid to achieve the overall goal of addressing the energy trilemma are:

  • The extent that the building can change its energy demand following a request;
  • How the extent varies as a function of the notification period;
  • How this varies with the external climate and internal loads.

There are expected to be financial incentives for buildings to respond to Smart Grid events over different time periods. This will necessitate the design of buildings that are financially optimised to work cooperatively within a Smart Grid ecosystem. Buildings will benefit from the ability to modify their energy use in response to Smart Grid events. It is anticipated that a Smart Grid Optimised Building (SGOB) will have particular characteristics relating to its energy storage (electrical and thermal) differs significantly from low carbon or low energy buildings.

RESThe definitions of the capability of buildings to alter their demand in line with the wider Smart Grid goals would allow Buildings to enter the energy market as a storage vector. Furthermore, the approach to quantifying SGOB in light of dynamic pricing should increase the clarity surrounding the role of energy storage technologies through development of the understanding of their economic value in relation to the temporal aspect of energy storage to the function and goals of Smart Grids.

This project will explore the hypothesis that the storage characteristics of buildings will play a crucial role in ensuring that they function as an effective sub-system a Smart Grid environment. It will seek to define at what scale, using what technology and distributed in what manner should storage be located in buildings and how is this influenced by the evolutionary state of the wider smart grid.

Currently, there are no universally accepted definitions for the different classifications of buildings. For example, while there is an increasing literature concerning smart buildings, there is no justified definition of what a smart building. Most approaches support that smart buildings integrate intelligence, enterprise, control and materials & construction as an entire building system, with adaptability, not reactivity, in order to meet the drivers for building progression: energy and efficiency, longevity and comfort”. Similarly, a proper definition for SGOBs has yet to be established.

Tickets for Pint Of Science talks are selling fast, so get over to through their official website to grab some.

Mendeley is extremely excited to be partnering with Pint of Science for the second year running! This year, we are sponsoring “Atoms to Galaxies” events across the UK, and Mendeley API & Mendeley Data are co-sponsoring “Tech Me Out” events. Last year was a massive success, and we feel passionate about the Pint of Science mission to bring research to the public, and give a chance for academics to present their work. We hope to help grow the event so more people can hear about the vast and amazing research happening in our galaxy — and beyond.

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