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Meeting University of Manchester


The University of Manchester (UNIMAN) is one of the top research lead universities in the UK (5th*), Europe (6th*) and the World (38th*), according the Shanghai Jiao Tong  Academic Ranking of World Universities for 2015  Within the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the Electrical Energy and Power Systems Group comprises 23 full time academics and some 180+ PhD students, research associates and academic visitors.  Its current research portfolio is over £20 M with support from EPSRC, EU, UK Government and leading national and international industrial companies. During the past 50 years, it has established itself as one of the longest continuously active university-based research groups in electrical power engineering anywhere in the world, and has achieved an enviable international reputation for its advanced education, training and high quality of research in all aspects of electrical power engineering.

Jelena Ponoćko, Research Associate at The University of Manchester and member of the NOBEL GRID consortium, answers some questions to know better the role of UNIMAN within the H2020 project.

What is your role in the NOBEL GRID project/ your outputs / lessons learned so far?IMG_0485

The main role of UNIMAN within the NOBEL GRID project is development of Advance Load Profiling (ALP) and Advance State Estimation (ASE) in distribution networks. The first functionality is developed as a decision support service for the Demand-Response Flexible Market (DRFM) platform, and the latter is designed to be a back-up service for the Grid Management and Maintenance Master.

The implementation of ALP supports any kind of demand response program, which is a basis for the future active involvement of the demand side in the distribution network operation and control. The use of ASE algorithms for steady state estimation of real distribution power networks involves not only real-time assessment of the key parameters of network reliability, but also exploring new efficient and user-friendly ways of visualization of distribution network performance at local or higher level. The two UNIMAN’s outputs will be presented in a visually highly comprehensive and user-friendly way.

The ground breaking research results to be achieved by NOBEL GRID in the areas of State Estimation and Advance Load Profiling, and in particular, application of these in simulations of real distribution power systems in Europe, will not only enrich our own research in these areas but also significantly enhance our understanding of many time/accuracy constrained numerical and analytical algorithms. The results and solutions achieved by NOBEL GRID will certainly be used as an excellent foundation and starting point for our research in these areas in the future.


What are the main challenges NOBEL GRID must face in the EU?

The main challenge of the project is the implementation of changes in the electricity market mechanism, as the number of participants in the market is growing – the demand side is becoming more active in the operation of the power network, and the new actors, such as an Aggregator, are becoming more influential. Another challenge is gaining trust from the end-users, whose acceptance of the new technologies (such as smart meters) is crucial to the deployment of new solutions (such as demand response) for making the power network more sustainable and “greener”.

The EU Energy Poverty Observatory (EPOV) is being developed by a consortium led by the University of Manchester. Could you tell us about this initiative? How will be the benefits and impact in European society?

The European Energy Poverty Observatory is a project aiming at understanding the extent of energy poverty in Europe, and what are the measures to combat it. Energy poverty can be understood as the inability to secure adequate levels of energy services (such as space heating, cooling, lighting and information technology), and is estimated to affect more than 50 million people in the European Union.

One of the main objectives of EPOV is improving the transparency of information and policy by bringing together the disparate sources of data and knowledge that exist in varying degrees across the whole of the EU. It also provides a user-friendly and open-access resource that promotes public engagement as well as informed decision making by local, national and EU-level decision makers. The Observatory will support the work of interested stakeholders, based on a holistic approach to understanding and addressing energy poverty in the European Union.

The consortium of the project, funded by the European Commission, consists of 13 organisations, including universities, advocacy groups, think tanks, and the business sector. Until the official website is available, more information about the project can be found on: https://www.mui.manchester.ac.uk/research/projects/euro-energy-poverty-observatory/


How NOBEL GRID could help to fight energy poverty?

By bringing user-friendly and affordable solutions for home energy monitoring (SMX – Smart Meter including both: metering and ‘smart’ services) and control (SHIC – Smart Home Intelligent Controller), the NOBEL GRID project is helping in making the new technologies available to everyone. The developed solutions, at the end-user, Aggregator (DRFM) and network operator (G3M) level, will provide improved observability of the overall network, meaning that failure detection or loss of power supply will be easier to detect, and the corrective measures will be performed faster. Finally, there will be savings enabled for both the network operator and the end-users.

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