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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T021969/1
Title: Multi-energy Control of Cyber-Physical Urban Energy Systems (MC2)
Principal Investigator: Wu, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Bialek, Professor JW Jenkins, Professor N Terzija, Professor V
Parisio, Dr A Taylor, Professor PC Abeysekera, Dr MP
Ugalde Loo, Dr CE Patsios, Dr C Ming, Dr W
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
ABB Power Grids UK Limited Electric Corby Neath Port Talbot County
Power Transition Ltd Scottish Power Siemens
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: Cardiff University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2020 Ends: 30 September 2023 Value (£): 812,744
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Sustainable Energy Networks
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
26 Nov 2019 EPSRC-NSFC Call in Sustainable Power Supply Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Urban energy systems play a crucial role in the economic, social and environmental performance of large towns and cities. There are many dense newly built urban areas in China, with limited space for renewables but resilience and clean energy with less air pollution are key issues. The UK has legacy urban energy infrastructure and decarbonisation has priority. All these challenges will place unprecedented requirements on the load demand and distributed generation of urban energy systems. Although the driving forces and the objectives of development of urban energy systems are different in the UK and China, sustainable, cost effective and reliable urban power supply is one of the key research topics in both countries.

This project will focus on novel methods for sustainable power supply, and will address the following two key research challenges, each of which has associated objectives.

(1) Conventional control approaches for urban power supply do not address the emerging opportunities offered by increased measurement and control of urban energy systems, do not consider the flexibility provided by other energy vectors, and do not proactively and self-adaptively deal with the inevitable uncertainties associated with the fast-evolving urban energy systems; and

(2) current urban energy systems rely on external bulk power supply with low resilience, i.e. interruption of external power supply will have catastrophic consequences, and supply restoration from such abnormal events will be difficult and time consuming. Coupling of different energy vectors to maximise the benefits of system integration must be coordinated with decoupling of electricity networks (create islandable urban energy systems) during abnormal events to increase the system resilience by maintaining energy supply to un-faulted urban areas.

The objectives of the project are to combine research strengths of the leading institutions in the UK and China to respond to the above challenges and:

(1) investigate multi-zone and multi-energy evolving system and control architecture of urban energy systems. Digital twins will be used to model and analyse each multi-energy system that is connected to the urban electric power network. Their system coupling and system-integration potential will be identified and flexibility provision quantified;

(2) develop a novel method for both current situational awareness and future situational forecasting of an urban energy system, based on the digital twin of each multi-energy system and network measurements;

(3) investigate smart interconnection of different urban zones using Soft Open Points in medium voltage (MV) electricity networks for accurate, real-time and resilient power flow control, and smart interconnection of multiple players using distributed ledger technology (DLT) for fully decentralised trust-based control;

(4) develop a multi-energy control strategy for an urban energy system, which employs situational awareness and smart interconnection methods to significantly improve performance and resilience of the urban energy system by setting up coordinated control and energy islanding capability; and

(5) validate the effectiveness of the proposed multi-energy control using hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) test facilities and selected case studies, and provide cost and benefit analysis (CBA).

The MC2 project will provide strategic direction for the future of sustainable urban power supply in the 2030-2050 time frame and deliver methodologies and technologies of alternative network control in order to facilitate a cost effective evolution to a resilient, affordable, low carbon and even net-zero future. The complementary, cross-country expertise will allow us to undertake the challenging research with substantially reduced cost, time and effort. The two-nation cross-fertilisation will make sure that the value of our research is for both developed and developing nations.
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Organisation Website: http://www.cf.ac.uk