Model Predictive Control Strategies for Polygeneration systems and microgrids

Increasing electricity and thermal demand in all sectors, an increasing focus on the reduction in carbon emissions and use of nuclear power, advent of distributed generation and greater use of renewable technologies on an aging electrical and thermal grid system has necessitated the need for modern control and management systems. These new control and management systems need to be able to integrate new technologies, stochasticities and maximise the utilisation of the existing infrastructure while satisfying demands, without requiring complete overhaul of the pre-existing centralised grid system and the transmission and distribution systems. A model predictive control system has been proposed and demonstrated here which is able to create strategies for thermal and electrical systems such that the grid efficiency and security is maintained while minimising resource usage and emissions, while, simultaneously reducing the operating costs in the grid. The model predictive control(MPC) utilises a fully energetic approach for low-voltage microgrids and houses in the residential and commercial sector which comprises of CHP units, heat pumps, storage systems(electric and thermal) and stochastic renewable resources, while accounting for the varying dynamics of the electrical and thermal systems. Finally, validation of the MPC is performed on a testbed with physical units and building emulators which have access to meteorological and resource market data. The capability of the MPC to provide strategies for systems with photovoltaics (PV), heat pumps and CHP units is demonstrated. The MPC implementation developed is input into an optimal system design algorithm based on a multi-objective optimisation genetic algorithm developed for microgrids and urban systems/grids with end-users and polygeneration systems and storage devices. The optimal design of the system is so that the optimal sizes of the polygeneration systems can be identified. This will help in maximising the utilisation of heat pumps, storage devices and other systems in a LV microgrid equipped with an MPC-based thermo-electric energy management system. The work also aims to compare the cost effectiveness versus ability of thermal storage devices compared to electrical storage devices for the same grid in question.


  • Thesis submitted - Forthcoming publication

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