This research area is dedicated to the development of digital solutions that facilitate sector coupling between the electricity, gas, and heating/cooling sectors. The aim is to create an interconnected, intelligent, and flexible energy network that efficiently manages the interplay of various energy carriers, optimizes resource utilization, and fosters the integration of renewable energy sources and other low-carbon technologies.
Key areas of investigation within Smart Energy Networks include:
- Integrated energy system modeling and optimization: Developing advanced modeling techniques and optimization algorithms to simulate and analyze the interactions between various energy sectors, helping to identify synergies, plan investments, and design efficient and resilient energy systems that take advantage of sector coupling opportunities.
- Multi-energy carriers and conversion technologies: Investigating the role of diverse energy carriers, such as electricity, gas, hydrogen, and thermal energy, in enhancing system flexibility and reliability, as well as exploring innovative energy conversion and storage technologies that enable the efficient exchange of energy between different sectors and carriers.
- Grid management and control strategies: Designing intelligent control strategies, automation solutions, and real-time monitoring systems that enable the seamless integration and coordination of multiple energy networks, ensuring optimal system operation, load balancing, and resource allocation in response to varying demand and supply conditions.
- Flexibility services and demand-side integration: Developing digital platforms and tools that promote the active participation of consumers, distributed energy resources, and flexible loads in the energy networks, offering flexibility services and enabling demand-side integration to optimize system performance and support the integration of renewable energy sources.
- Regulatory frameworks and market mechanisms: Analyzing and designing market structures, regulatory policies, and incentive mechanisms that encourage cross-sector collaboration, investment in innovative energy solutions, and the development of new business models and services that capitalize on the potential of integrated energy networks.
By focusing on these critical aspects of smart energy networks, the research aims to contribute to the development of a more efficient, flexible, and sustainable energy system that effectively leverages the potential of sector coupling and supports the transition towards a low-carbon energy future.