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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R007373/1
Title: Refactoring Energy Systems
Principal Investigator: Chitchyan, Dr R
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
EDF Morecambe Bay Community Renewables MORE
Department: Computer Science
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 October 2017 Ends: 30 September 2023 Value (£): 952,931
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency Sustainable Energy Networks
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
11 Apr 2017 Environmental Change Challenge Fellowships - Full Proposals Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The complexity of the present UK energy system (including numerous generators ranging from nuclear plants to individual households, transmitters, distributors, storage providers, regulators, and consumers) is ever growing.

While once only a few major power producers delivered energy to the whole country, today the energy system is drastically changing. To give a few examples: every household can supply energy into the grid, the environmentally-concerned consumers wish to purchase energy from specific sources, and communities and businesses may wish to ascertain energy self-sufficiency, but also expect to rely on the main grid as provider of the last resource. Transmission capacity must grow to meet increased consumption needs. Intermittence of new energy types (e.g., wind and solar), require larger and longer-term storage.

As the technical and participant variety in the energy system grows, the system's architecture can no longer remain uniform, for instance, some communities could rely on wind energy, others on biofuels; the level of participation of smaller suppliers would vary per locality, as will priorities of communities. Thus, there is no longer one optimal energy system architecture for the whole country. Instead, each community should be able to identify the best way that its energy system could be structured and take planned steps towards achieving and maintaining this optimal structure.

Thus, this fellowship aims to transform how the energy system is viewed, managed and evolved: moving away from the current perception of a single, uniform system across the whole of the UK, to that of localised, adaptive, largely self-reliant system-of-systems. In this new setting, the local systems will each be individually optimised, yet globally connected.

To enable this locally optimised and globally connected energy system, the fellowship will deliver a set of system refactoring patterns, tools, and techniques.

Refactoring is a disciplined approach to gradually changing the internal structure of an existing system without changing its externally useful services.

The fellowship will:

1. Collect and integrate data sources and models that would allow each community to monitor the current state of their local energy system, identify emerging problems, and address these problems through refactoring patterns. The models will also help to observe the expected effects of a refactoring application both locally and on the larger, interconnected system-of-systems.

2. Set up an open, commonly accessible technical infrastructure for data recording and model evaluation. A simple (non-specialist focused) user interface will be set up to enable all interested stakeholders to choose, evaluate and interpret models.

3. Deliver innovative methods, tools, a pattern catalogue, and good practice guidelines for energy systems refactoring.

4. Engage individuals, communities, businesses, regulators, and NGOs with the localised, renewables-based energy generation activities.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk