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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M000656/1
Title: An ICT Framework for Supplementary Electrical Heating for Decarbonisation of Domestic Heating
Principal Investigator: Laverty, Dr D M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Electronics, Elec Eng & Comp Sci
Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 31 December 2014 Ends: 04 November 2016 Value (£): 98,747
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Sustainable Energy Networks
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
20 Aug 2014 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 20 August 2014 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This research concerns the use of 'Supplementary Electric Heating' as a means to reduce carbon dioxide emissions caused by the consumption of fossil fuels for domestic heating. This will be achieved by using advanced storage heating appliances, for space heating and water heating, that will consume electricity when there is an abundance of low carbon generation such as wind power. This augments the conventional central heating system in the household, and reduces the amount of fossil fuels (oil and gas) consumed.

To achieve widespread uptake of supplementary electric heating it is necessary to be mindful electricity grid operation. The supplementary electric heaters must respect capacity constraints on the distribution networks they are installed on, and not adversely affect power quality. Additionally, there are challenges operating electricity grids with high capacities of non-synchronous renewable generation, specifically grid stability and inertia. By equipping the supplementary electric heaters with advanced monitoring equipment, it is possible to utilise a large population of these appliances to assist grid stability and simulate system inertia.

In order to achieve this level of control, an advanced communications network is required. Electrical utilities have traditionally had little motivation to have widespread, real-time communications with customers. Thus, the main thrust of this project is concerned with identifying the information communication technology needs of the supplementary electric heating control systems under both normal operation and in times when they must respond to system faults, and constructing a framework for the successful operation of the whole system.

The ICT framework that will be developed in this work will consider the unique challenges of Machine-to-Machine communication in the utility sector, where cyber-security threats remain a persistent concern. The framework will form the basis for future technologies in the active network management, or 'Smart Grid', sector.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.qub.ac.uk