Efficiently exploiting renewable, sustainable and green energy resources is one of the most critical challenges facing Ireland today.

Project Insights

  • €385,518

    Total Project Costs
  • 4 yr

    Project Duration
  • 2018

    Year Funded

Project Description

This project aims to develop and optimise hybrid technologies that can be used to stabilise the intermittent output of renewable generators and provide a substitute for the inertia provided to the grid by traditional generators. The inertia is the stored kinetic energy of the turbines and it provides an energy buffer in times of high system demand or low generation. This inertia gives the electricity grid an inherent stability, allowing the transmission system operator (TSO) sufficient time to respond to unexpected changes in generation or demand. However, renewable generators typically do not provide such inertia and so an alternative mechanism of stabilising the grid must be found in order for a 100% renewable grid to be viable. There are different approaches through which this can be achieved including the use of synchronous condensers, electrochemical batteries and super capacitors. However, all of these methods add extra energy losses and equipment to the system and result in inefficiencies and higher costs. Wind turbines have significant stored kinetic energy but they are rarely synchronised to the grid since to do so would reduce the energy harvested from the wind. Consequently, synchronisation/coupling of this existing kinetic energy to the grid can have significant economic benefits by increasing the stability of the electricity grid without curtailing the renewable energy output at times of high wind penetration. The research will involve both lab-based experiments and numerical modelling of the systems.

Project Details

Total Project Cost: €385,518

Funding Agency: SEAI

Year Funded: 2018

Lead Organisation: University of Limerick

Robert Lynch | Lead Researcher(s)