Newcastle Sustainability Research Director’s Public Lecture | MicroGrids: Niche Application or Fundamental to Future Energy Systems?

SML-MicroGrid-lecProfessor Philip Taylor, Director of the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS), will deliver a public lecture titled ‘MicroGrids: Niche Application or Fundamental to Future Energy Systems?’ hosted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers at 1 Birdcage Walk, Westminster, London SW1H 9JJ on 20 March 2014.

Professor Taylor, who also holds the Chair of Electrical Power Systems in the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Newcastle University, researches on the challenges associated with the widespread integration and control of distributed/renewable generation in electrical distribution networks.

In the coming years electrical networks and energy systems in general are likely to face formidable challenges due to a number of factors such as increased challenges to resilience from worsening extreme weather events and increased renewable and distributed generation.

Responses to these challenges are mainly two fold: centralised and decentralised. Centralised approaches involve strengthening the prevailing system of large centralised power stations and distribution and transmission physical assets. They seek economies of scale and involve transporting energy over relatively long distances out to passive consumers using centralised control architectures.

On the other hand, in decentralised approaches, generation and load are more closely located and controlled while consumers engage in demand response and system operation more proactively. Due to its benefits such as better resilience, energy efficiency and power quality, decentralised approach has attracted a growing interest recently.

MicroGrids, which fall under the second category, are sections of distribution network including several micro-generators, distributed energy storage devices and controllable loads. Through intelligent co-ordination of micro-generators, energy storage units coupled with demand side response techniques, micro grids could significantly improve the commercial value and environmental impact of distributed renewable energy sources and could become fundamental to future energy systems.

As energy systems become more complex and the levels of uncertainty increase, autonomic MicroGrids may emerge. With dynamically changing boundaries, they would exhibit self-organising, self-healing and self-managing properties.

This lecture will cover the key issues concerning MicroGrids, providing some technical detail on how they can be realised.

The lecture is free and open to all but require advance booking (please see event page below).

Image created using the logos of the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability, Newcastle University and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers


Event page

Professor Philip Taylor | twitter @rolyatlihp

Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability | twitter @NCLSustainable

Knowledge page on the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Distributed generation

How a Microgrid Works

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