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The potential impacts of microgeneration and low-carbon heating on distribution networks

Jones, Owain; (2019) The potential impacts of microgeneration and low-carbon heating on distribution networks. Masters thesis (M.Phil), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Micro-generation and low-carbon heat could potentially form part of the UK's decarbonisation strategy. This study examines the potential impacts of micro-CHP, solar PV and air-source heat pumps on distribution networks, using minute-scale electricity generation and demand data from field studies. These data are augmented by simulated data for a fuel cell micro-CHP profile, based on the heat demand of an average UK household. The value of using minute-scale rather than lower frequency data is more accurate information on peaks in household demand. An analysis of the economic implications of micro-CHP concludes that micro-CHP would have to fall in price for it to be economically viable for the household. Moreover, emissions benefits are limited and prone to decline. The supply and demand profiles of the various technologies were used with network design software (IPSA-Power), and models of real world distribution networks, to understand their potential impacts on distribution networks. Two sub-urban networks were analysed, with similar results, indicating the results can be generalised. For each minute of data, a steady state load flow analysis was performed in order to approximate a dynamic power system analysis. Stirling engine micro-CHP has only minor impacts on the distribution network, principally through reducing power losses. Fuel cell micro-CHP can have considerable benefits through reducing losses and power flows, however one more than 60% of homes install fuel cell micro-CHP these benefits will be reduced. The other technologies tend to have greater detrimental impacts on networks through less frequent but greater voltage rise (solar PV), increased power flows (heat pumps) and increased losses (both solar PV and heat pumps). Micro-CHP can worsen the effects of solar PV and mitigate the effects of heat pumps if the technologies are deployed on the same network.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: M.Phil
Title: The potential impacts of microgeneration and low-carbon heating on distribution networks
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069496
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