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/Job opportunities/Energy management in smart buildings and districts with high penetration of renewables

Energy management in smart buildings and districts with high penetration of renewables

PhD - Genk | More than two weeks ago

You will expand imec’s advanced and patented energy management framework and test your innovative solution in real life conditions using our state-of-the-art Home Labs

Effective utilization of renewable energy is a big motivation to renovate the conventional power systems toward smart energy systems. Smart energy systems are often equipped with renewable energy sources, storage, and various appliances as electric load. The dynamic nature of these renewables making the balancing of the production and loads very challenging whereas the nature of these loads which are partly shftable/configurable in time should be introduced.  Also, to enable high penetration of renewables in electricity grids, smart energy systems must take care of challenges related to the grid connection, such as voltage instability and grid overload. Furthermore, the number and type of components a smart energy system is made of can vary with time, e.g. (plug-in hybrid) electric vehicles' batteries can be considered as part of the smart system's storage when vehicles are connected, meaning that storage capacity of the system will change during the day. Proper energy management must be able to deal with all these constraints and challenges and, at the same time, take care of the human aspect, ensuring safety and comfort of people.

Clearly, smart energy systems extend beyond residential buildings. Even districts can be seen as smart energy systems: proper management of flow of power, utilization of resources, scheduling of consumption is as challenging as fundamental in this system of systems, where all electrical components must cooperate to reach a given set of objectives.

The Ph.D. candidate will expand imec's advanced and patented multi-scale energy management framework, able to optimize system performance while ensuring people comfort and safety of systems equipped with renewable generators and storage. Modelling of systems components, including human behaviour, presence and interaction with the system, will represent an important part of the work. On top of this, implementation of these models into the energy management framework, the design of experiments and the realization of prototypes will be part of the work of the Ph.D. candidate. Last but not least, the candidate will have the unique opportunity of testing the developed algorithms at EnergyVille and imec-Gent Home Labs, two ad-hoc infrastructures allowing testing under real life conditions.

Required background: electrical or software engineer with a strong background on modelling and simulation of electrical systems. Knowledge of Python language and hand-on experience with hardware-in-the-loop validation are desirable.

Type of work: 40% modelling, 30% implementation of models and simulations, 30% experimental validation

Location: This position will be at the site of EnergyVille where you will have direct access to Home Lab, and experts working on solar energy, battery development and modeling concepts, power electronics, grid/load management and various topics related to smart grid development. You could work in imec's, KULeuven and imec-Gent state-of-art labs. You will also collaborate with experts on load modelling, forecasting and management from imec-Gent.​​​

Supervisor: Francky Catthoor

Daily advisor: Patrizio Manganiello

The reference code for this position is 2020-071. Mention this reference code on your application form.
Chinese nationals who wish to apply for the CSC scholarship, should use the following code when applying for this topic: CSC2020-33.