CIGRE UK February Technical Webinar | Whole Energy system Accelerator: A real-world testbed for energy innovations

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  • 12th February 2024
feb webinar


About this Technical Webinar:

In this webinar, we will present a novel testing and demonstration platform for future power system scenarios, where real households can interact in real-time with network hardware in a closed feedback loop. This testing and demonstration platform, named the Whole Energy System Accelerator (WESA), is developed by PNDC and Energy Systems Catapult to enable tests in a whole system context of potential interventions at the domestic, network and/or wider system level.

At the distribution level, rapid decarbonisation of heating and transport and the growing penetration of distributed energy resources can result in new patterns of generation and demand. Consumers on a local network will collectively influence the network state, however, the prevailing market arrangements and consumer preferences will determine individual reactions to this state (which may include demand-side response).

The WESA testing and demonstration platform enables a holistic exploration of this two-way interaction between networks and consumers, with a focus on the domestic setting, to accelerate innovation in different areas of the power system, in a safe environment without direct impact on the real network. The platform is modular, flexible and reconfigurable to support different study types and different future scenarios, in particular LCT uptake rates and market structures, supported by algorithms to emulate actions of market participants in response to real-time network data and other inputs. The loop is closed by control signals and Time-of-Use tariffs that can be sent back to households to understand the consumer response. The platform also allows detailed technical monitoring of homes and LCTs, and consumer studies can be undertaken to elicit households’ experiences of new energy propositions.

We will outline the technical details of the WESA Feedback loop, illustrate the possibilities it enables, and highlight how the results could contribute insights to stakeholders across the power sector.

Presenters: Joseph Melone, Prima Bhagavathy & David Wyatt

Joseph Melone

Dr. Joseph Melone

Joe is part of the Whole Energy Systems team at PNDC, currently focusing on developing model power distribution networks and systems using PNDC’s real-time digital simulator system, and delivering unique testing capability for the diverse technical solutions which will be integrated into the low carbon energy system of the future.

Priya Bhagavathy

Dr. Priya Bhagavathy

Priya is an Oxford Martin Fellow and a Chartered Engineer with 15+ years of experience in energy systems. She is a Lead R&D Engineer in Whole Energy System at PNDC where she develops and delivers a portfolio of technical research and innovation projects in Whole Energy System and Hydrogen. She is also leading the design and delivery of a whole system innovation facility which has up to 1 MW electrical capability with 750kW thermal capability and a hydrogen network. Her research focuses on the integration of heat and transport into the electricity vector and the role of hydrogen in the transition to net zero. She has one patent filed and two patents pending in the area of hydrogen.

David Wyatt

Dr David Wyatt

David leads the Dynamic Energy Systems Simulation activity at Energy Systems Catapult. His team develops and applies novel whole-system simulation models of future energy scenarios, to provide evidence to inform decisions about the deployment of new technologies and new market structures, with a particular interest in energy flexibility. Their focus is on fine-grained representation of physical, commercial and digital systems, both in silico and as real-time simulations linked to real-world components. David has experience across innovation, research and design engineering, having worked as Associate Principal Engineer at a UK technology company after a University of Cambridge PhD in Engineering Design Research. He is a Chartered Engineer and has three granted patents in the field of consumer robotics.

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