PhD & Masters Students

Killian McKenna

Network Impacts of Flexible Demand and the Connected Customer

Biography: Killian McKenna graduated from UCD in 2013 with a first class honours BE in Electrical Engineering. His final year project, titled ‘Quantifying the Effects of Demand Side Management on System Reliability’, conducted under the supervision of Prof. Mark O’Malley, received the UCD Engineering Graduates Association Cylon Award for Excellence. He has completed industry placements in Gaelectric Energy Storage and also in Mainstream Renewable Power. Since 2014 he has sat and played an active part on the board of the UCD Engineering Graduates Association.  He commenced his PhD in the Electricity Research Centre (ERC) in September 2013 under the supervision of Dr Andrew Keane. In June 2015 he was awarded the EURELECTRIC Student Award at the annual EURELECTRIC Conference where he was representing the all-Ireland electricity sector. His research interests include demand side management, demand response, load modelling, distribution networks, dynamic pricing schemes and distribution voltage control.

Killian McKenna is funded through the SEES Cluster, supported by Science Foundation Ireland under Grant Number SFI/09/SRC/E1780.


Project: Network Impacts of Flexible Demand and the Connected Customer

The increase in flexible demand and progress towards market arrangements for the dynamic pricing schemes may pose challenges to the existing network infrastructure. The electricity network is planned on the basis of an assumed diversity of demand, developed over decades of operational experience. An uptake in new technologies, such as electric vehicles and the introduction of smart meters will offer a means for residential and commercial customers to engage in the provision of system services potentially in return for financial compensation. The provision of such services will be via the electricity network and thus full account of the potential impacts on the network should be taken. Greater visibility of load behaviour may allow the potential for dynamic voltage control on the distribution network to reduce both system losses and the level of demand itself. This project has developed new models for simulating consumer load using bottom up approaches and uses these models to assess the impacts of the introduction of dynamic pricing schemes. The model is also being used to perform an investigation into new voltage control strategies on the distribution network given the time-variant electrical characteristics of demand. In both cases the high-level system objectives will need to be reconciled with the requirements of maintaining power quality and network reliability locally. The project will be pursued in collaboration with ESB Networks.


Residential Load Modeling of Price Based Demand Response for Network Impact Studies

Killian McKenna, Andrew Keane,
Journal Paper IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid published on 10/06/2015

Discrete Elastic Residential Load Response under Variable Pricing Schemes

Killian McKenna, Andrew Keane,
Conference Paper Istanbul, Turkey, 12-15 Oct. 2014 published on 12/10/2014

Distribution Network Voltage Control for Peak Load Alleviation

Killian McKenna, Andrew Keane,
Conference Paper Wollongong, 2016 published on