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Mr Ronan Kernan
Research Student
Photo of Ronan Kernan  
E-mail: rkernan01 at qub dot ac dot uk
Recent Publications




Academic Background:
BEng Mechanical Engineering (first class), Queen's University Belfast, 2014

Research Project:
Flexible Operation of Water Supply Systems to Facilitate Variable Generation Potential

Project Background:
Ireland has an ambitious target of 40% renewable electricity generation by 2020. The vast majority of this is to come from wind and other variable sources. Ireland has a small amount of DC interconnection with Britain. For system stability reasons, instantaneous generation from wind power and interconnectors combined is currently limited to 50% of the total generation mix. As it stands, this limit would make it economically impossible to reach the 2020 targets as much wind power would have to be curtailed.

The water supply network is the single largest consumer of electricity in Ireland. Large pumps move water from catchment areas to service reservoirs near areas of demand. As long as reservoir levels are maintained within specified limits, these pumps have an inherent flexibility of operation which suits them to Demand Side Management and mitigation of wind curtailment - by maximising pump operation during periods of high wind but low demand, wind power which would otherwise be curtailed could be effectively used. This would also reduce electricity costs.

The aim of this project is to investigate the operational flexibility of the water network. As well as the clean water pumping mentioned above, clean water treatment and wastewater pumping and treatment will be investigated. Optimisation and scheduling methods for real-world operation of pumps based on a variable system marginal price will be determined and the economic and environmental benefits of flexible water supply operation quantified.