School of Engineering


Autonomic Power Systems (EPSRC Grand Challenges)

EPSRC Grand Challenge project led by the University of Strathclyde.This proposal focuses on the electricity network of 2050.

In the move to a decarbonised energy network the heat and transport sectors will be fully integrated into the electricity system. Therefore, the grand challenge in energy networks is to deliver the fundamental changes in the electrical power system that will support this transition, without being constrained by the current infrastructure, operational rules, market structure, regulations, and design guidelines. The drivers that will shape the 2050 electricity network are numerous:

These changes mean that the energy networks of the future will be far more difficult to manage and design than those of today, for technical, social and commercial reasons. In order to cater for this complexity, future energy networks must be organised to provide increased flexibility and controllability through the provision of appropriate real time decision-making techniques

These techniques must coordinate the simultaneous operation of a large number of diverse components and functions, including storage devices, demand side actions, network topology, data management, electricity markets, electric vehicle charging regimes, dynamic ratings systems, distributed generation, network power flow management, fault level management, supply restoration and fuel choice. Additionally, future flexible grids will present many more options for energy trading philosophies and investment decisions. The risks and implications associated with these decisions and the real-time control of the networks will be harder to identify and quantify due to the increased uncertainty and complexity.