Day Two at WREC 2014

By Dan Cash

06 August 2014

WREC2014 Day 2

The second day of WREC 2014 saw the opening of technical sessions. As a conference, WREC’s real strength is its target topics and research, covering ideas from Wind, Solar and Biomass to Fuel Cells and Low Energy Architecture. It is great to see the cross-pollination of concepts across different fields.

I spent much of the day with the Renewable Integration stream where I was chairing sessions. We looked at the variations in renewable energy generation and how technology in the built environment and energy infrastructure might mitigate these variations. 

A number of ideas were discussed in depth. Firstly, Prof. Ghanim Putrus from the University of Northumbria has been researching the use of electrical vehicles for balancing loads on the electricity grid. He claimed that by 2020, it’s predicted 10% of vehicles in the UK will be electric. Vehicles plugged in for charging will make a proportion of their battery available to a grid control system depending on how far a driver needs to go later in the day. The battery then takes in power when there is excess energy generation and returns it to the grid if the output from renewable sources drops.

Following this, Brunel University presented a paper on the generation of hydrogen for cooking in rural communities using Photovoltaic. The study looked to provide clean fuel for dwellings in rural locations which currently rely on expensive fuel inputs.  A key point in this research is that people in Jamaica, where the trial is being focussed, are reluctant to move away from gas cooking. It is important to discuss the future of inexpensive clean fuel reliance, as PV running electric cookers directly with battery storage is likely to be more efficient.

Finally, Wim Zeiler from the University of Technology in Eindhoven presented interesting work on improving sensors in buildings. This would show that building control systems know how many occupants are present. The building control system is then linked to the grid control system so that the energy demand of the building can be controlled more accurately to reduce the burden on the grid. This feels like the start of Soft Landings moving toward smart grid ready buildings….

More to follow.


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