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You will work on the advanced power electronics system for high-power heating based on renewables. You will investigate 1) baseline design of AC grid-connected power-to-heat system, availability analysis of the design solutions under various fault conditions. 2) new electrical system architecture to better couple the renewable source and heating plant with optimized reliability and cost; 3) advanced medium voltage power conversion technologies for high power heating systems to with improved reliability and energy efficiency.Job Description
Industrial heat makes up two-thirds of industrial energy demand and almost one-fifth of global energy consumption. As the majority of the industrial heat is generated by burning fossil fuel, it contributes to most of the direct industrial CO2 emitted each year. Therefore, it is essential to decarbonize the industrial process heating system to combat climate change.
Despite many advantages of power-to-heat solutions, there are still significant barriers when scaling up the electrification of industrial process heating systems without the holistic design approach. Firstly, due to the risk aversion in the industry, a critical barrier to industrial electrification is the lack of confidence in the reliability of electrical process equipment as well as the other risks to redesign the manufacturing process lines. Secondly, scaling up the power to heat requires a radical change in the electrical energy system, including a significant expansion of renewable energy generation systems, strengthened transmission and distribution networks, and completely different end-use technologies for process heating, which results in high capital cost (CAPEX). Moreover, the cost reductions in renewable power generation are not directly reflected in actual grid power prices paid by industries, the industrial electricity rates in many locations are on a per-kWh basis substantially higher than the corresponding prices of natural gas, which results in high operational cost (OPEX). Therefore, further research needs to be done to break down the barriers to enable the large-scale deployment of power to heat technologies.
The objective of this project is to develop cost-effective renewable-based power-to-heat technologies for large-scale industrial electrifications. Specifically, the following research activities will be carried out to overcome the practical barriers in terms of reliability and cost:
- Baseline design of AC grid-connected power-to-heat system, availability analysis of the design solutions under various fault conditions.
- New electrical system architecture to better couple the renewable source and heating plant with optimized reliability and cost;
- Advanced medium voltage power conversion technologies for high power heating systems to with improved reliability and energy efficiency.
The expected outcomes are as follows:
- Baseline design AC grid-connected power-to-heat system, validation of the availability analysis based on hardware-in-loop test.
- Novel electrical system architecture design and comparison with baseline design through hardware-in-the-loop validation;
- Down-scale experimental testing of medium voltage power conversion technologies for high power heating systems with improved reliability and energy efficiency.