Mr William Kerr
MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Queen's University Belfast, 2015
Electrification of Domestic Heating in Smart Grids
On the island of Ireland, in relation to its size there is a massive amount of installed wind generation. Meaning, Ireland currently has one of the highest penetrations of non-synchronous generation in the world. This combined with only a small number of DC interconnections with Great Britain means that for system stability reasons SNSP has to be limited to 55%.
Governments have set an ambitious target of 40% renewable electricity generation by 2020. The vast majority of this is to come from wind (37%) and the rest from various other sources. As it stands, the SNSP limit would make it economically impossible to reach the 2020 targets as much of the wind power would have to be curtailed. Due to this, plans are underway to try and increase the SNSP limit up to 75%, helping to reduce future curtailment.
The aim of this project is the ‘Electrification of Domestic Heating’ as a means to reduce emissions and air pollution caused by the consumption of fossil fuels in the domestic sector. This will be achieved by using advanced storage heating appliances, for space heating and water heating, which will consume electricity when there is an abundance of low carbon generation such as wind power. This will possibly augment with the conventional central heating system in the household, and reduce the amount of fossil fuels (oil and gas) consumed or be a standalone system like some current Economy 7 households.
With the widespread uptake of electric heating it is necessary to be mindful of the electricity grid operation. The electric heaters must respect capacity constraints on the distribution networks they are installed on, and not adversely affect power quality. In turn, equipping the electric heaters with advanced monitoring equipment, it is possible to utilize a large population of these appliances to assist grid stability and simulate system inertia, helping to increase the SNSP and reducing curtailment of wind.