Université catholique de Louvain

PhD Position on multicriteria optimization of local renewable energy systems

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Horizon Europe - FEDECOM

FEDECOM

FEDECOM aims to enable integrated local energy systems through sector coupling and cross-energy vector integration, increasing RES penetration via optimal utilisation of energy dispatch, storage and conversion assets. FEDECOM pursues the idea of electricity becoming the leading energy carrier, with power grids as the backbone for the decarbonisation of all energy sectors and aggregators as the cornerstone enabler of the potential exploitation. FEDECOM adopts and maximizes the potential synergies of two complementary deployment strategies: (i) direct electrification (e.g. via demand electrification), and (ii) indirect electrification (with power-to-X technology). FEDECOM will deliver a scalable and adaptable cloud-based platform composed of analytical, modelling and optimization services for planning, supervision and control of integrated local energy systems (power, gas, heating and cooling, industry, electric and hydrogen mobility). Optimized operations of the integrated systems will be demonstrated as part of hybrid RES/storage infrastructures, while enabling a holistic cooperative demand response (DR) strategy across federation of energy communities. With a concept of federated energy communities, FEDECOM unlocks the flexibility potential, enable energy exchange, and provide coordinated actions across near and remote sites, while maximizing the positive impact on grid transmission level. FEDECOM’s integrated package will be verified on three real large-scale pilots, each composed of multiple (federated) demo sites (communities): Spanish Virtual Green H2 Federation, Swiss Residential Hydropower Federation and BENElux cross-country e-Mobility Federation. FEDECOM is a consortium of 18 actors from 8 different countries. The acronym means `FEDErated -system of systems- approach for flexible and interoperable energy COMmunities´.

Description of the PhD

Energy system optimization are best studied with dedicated tools such as ESOM (energy system optimization models). EnergyScope TD (https://energyscope.readthedocs.io/en/latest/index.html) developed by EPFL and UCLouvain is such a model. It optimizes the total cost of an energy system under the constraint of prescribed CO2 emissions. Given the demand (i.e. electricity, heat and mobility), the model chooses the appropriate resources (solar, wind, hydro, gas, etc.) and technologies (wind turbines, electric cars, heat pumps, wood gasification…) to satisfy them. It includes many different technologies and allow for sector coupling and seasonal storage. The optimization is based on the minimization of the cost of the system including investment, maintenance and operation. As an illustration, the model has been applied to the case of Belgium (https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/13/1/261). In the frame of the project FEDECOM, the model must be extended to include other criteria and become a multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) tool. The additional criteria are based on life cycle assessment (LCA) of the different technologies and their uses. Indeed, to shed a different light on the technologies deemed optimum for the future energy systems additional environmental criteria must be added. Once developed and adapted to the study of local energy systems, the model will be included in the platform developed in the frame of the project FEDECOM and applied to the different pilot sites both as a design and an assessment tool.

Starting from existing versions of EnergyScope TD, the PhD candidate will mainly work on the development of the model, including the collect, via the literature and contact with the partners of the project, of additional data. A master thesis provides a first basis for the work (https://dial.uclouvain.be/memoire/ucl/en/object/thesis%3A33139). The multi-cell version of the model appears to be the best candidate but this will be challenged at the beginning of the thesis. After the development, the candidate will first validate the model and apply it to the pilot cases. Also, the candidate will be the contact person for UCLouvain throughout the project.

The multi-criteria decision model will be used by industrials to nuance cost optimum solutions. Thus, the project involves interactions with the partners of the project and also with two post-docs hired at UCLouvain on the project. They will work on the LCA approach for the model and the coupling of EnergyScope TD with a dispatch model (e.g. Dispa-Set).

Description of Team

This offer is for a PhD at UCLouvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium) under the supervision of Prof. H. Jeanmart.

Hervé Jeanmart focuses his research effort on three strands: Energy system, biomass conversion, and combustion. In the field of energy system, he is studying the availability and accessibility of renewable energy. He is working on the need for storage during and after the transition. He is participating to the development of Energyscope TD. He has also developed a growing interest for the link between energy and economy.

The research team on Sustainable Energy at UCLouvain is led by two professors, H. Jeanmart and F. Contino. Around twenty researchers (PhD and post-doc) are working with them. Several researchers in the team are using or developing the model EnergyScope. The axes of current developments are the multi-cell approach, agent-based optimization, and the coupling with dispatch or economical models. Moreover, the model is used in several projects, such as BEST-energy (https://best-energy.be/) and a cooperation with Bolivia.

Starting date: January 2023 (or earlier)

End date: September 2026

Location: UCLouvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

Salary: 1950€ (approximate net income)

Profile: Candidates should be proficient in English, motivated and well aware of the energy context.

Experience in programming, optimization and life cycle assessment would improve the ranking.

Application: applications should contain a letter of motivation, a letter of recommendation, a short analysis of the EnergyScope TD tool (max one page), and a short video (2 minutes max) explaining why we should hire the candidate. The application package should be sent to herve.jeanmart@uclouvain.be

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Job details

Title
PhD Position on multicriteria optimization of local renewable energy systems
Location
Place de l'Université 1 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Published
2022-10-03
Application deadline
Unspecified
Job type
PhD
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About the employer

The Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) is internationally recognized for research and teaching quality in many different fields of expert...

Visit the employer page

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