ETA Seminar on may 15, 2018
Speaker: Michael Koller, CTO, EKZ Switzerland
EKZ is one of Switzerland's biggest energy suppliers, providing around one million people with electricity. EKZ’s distribution grid stretches over 15,000 km with an availability of 99.997 percent. As an integrated utility EKZ offers a wide range of energy services ranging from medium voltage services to solar rooftop solutions. EKZ aims to shape the energy transition towards power generation based entirely on renewable resources and the decarbonization of the sectors mobility and heating.
In the talk a summary of the hands on experiences gathered in the last five years with two MW-scale battery storage projects in different applications will be given. After a description of the Swiss electricity tariff structure and incentives, a technical description of EKZ’s solar PV activities and offering will be presented including residential batteries and self-consumption communities in multi-family homes. The talk will describe a bird eye view on flexibility and EKZ’s current flexibility usage, namely residential electric water heaters for distribution grid purposes and aggregation of industrial loads in a virtual power plant for energy market services. In the context of the full smart metering rollout new technical possibilities for demand response emerge. The talk will present the latest results from a two year pilot project using a model predictive control approach to improve the integration of solar PV into the distribution grid based on the smart metering infrastructure.
ETA Seminar on February 12, 2018
Speaker: Addison Stark, Fellow & Acting Program Director, ARPA-E
Traditionally, chemical reactor engineering has followed design heuristics compatible with rules-of-thumb scaling laws, and thus the mantra ‘bigger is always better’. Another approach to designing large-scale energy conversion devices is via economies of manufacturing scale. Whereas the capital cost of a modern gas-to-liquids chemical plant can be estimated to be on the order of $500/kWth, the cost of a production-scale internal combustion engine (ICE) is $5/kWth, a two order of magnitude reduction. However with current reactor design heuristics, scaling down to the size of the ICE is not possible without a high degree of optimization, process intensification and new design and manufacturing methods.
Advanced manufacturing enables new approaches to chemical reactor design due to the ability to build complex geometries and topologies previously inaccessible to the engineer. These benefits have been recently demonstrated in the design and manufacture of other multi-physics devices such as novel as heat exchangers, recuperators and fluidic devices.
In this talk a new design paradigm for modular manufacturing-scale thermal devices and chemical reactors is proposed. In this approach multi-scale and multi-physics modeling is coupled with computational design methods capable of leveraging additive manufacturing. Critical modeling and methodology development needs will be discussed, along with a viable R&D path towards commercializable modular chemical reactors and thermal devices.
ETA Seminar on March 6, 2018
Speaker: Franz Baumgartner, Professor, ZHAW School of Engineering
Decentralized power generation may lead to an inverse power flow compared to a centralized power supply system. Thus, voltage rises have to be limited at customer level with minimum extra costs during high PV power injection. Therefore, active and reactive power control of PV inverter will become more and more important because the additional grid operator’s and end customers’ investments could be nearly neglected. The decentralized control has to be triggered directly by the line voltage at the PV inverter ensuring an efficient use based on static characteristics, which are defined by the grid operator without the need of additional investment in IT infrastructure. The voltage dependent control of decentralized power generators is not implemented in the open source load flow calculation software Matpower. An elegant solution was found by integrating the dynamic change in active and reactive power directly into the load flow equations. This provides the basis for the techno-economic assessments which will be performed for different low-voltage distribution grid classes in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
ETA Seminar on February 27, 2018
Speaker: Junjie Qin, Postdoc, Grid Integration Group, Energy Storage & Distributed Resources Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
More flexibility is desired in electricity markets to fully unlock potentials of renewable and distributed energy resources. Such flexibility may be achieved by bilateral transactions, based on differentiated and flexible contractual agreements. Although bilateral contracts are pervasive in electricity markets, little is known about the performance of transactive marketplaces for energy especially when power network reliability and renewable uncertainty are of concern. In this talk, I will present a theoretical framework to understand the performance of such marketplaces, highlighting elements in market design that are required for achieving efficiency and reliability goals. I will then describe a concrete design of distribution network marketplace for matching intermittent supply and flexible demand.