The Sustainable Electrical Energy Systems Strategic Research Cluster (SEES Cluster) was formed in late 2010 to bring together the necessary multi-disciplinary expertise in electrical, mechanical and electronic engineering, applied mathematics, economics and geology to tackle fundamental applied research and demonstration challenges to underpin the emergence of future integrated, smart and sustainable electrical energy systems.
The SEES Cluster, with the financial support of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI/09/SRC/E1780) and ERC industry members, includes researchers in UCD, TCD, UL, NUIM and the ESRI. The Cluster has also attracted further industry interest and support.
The challenges addressed include the integration and optimisation of very high, variable renewable penetrations (40% energy and above), the development of an active, smarter electricity network enabled by the deployment of information and communication technologies, facilitation of customer and utility demand management, and electrification of segments of the heat and transport markets.
The research programme addresses key issues (listed below) that underpin the successful transformation of the sustainable electrical energy system:
- Flexibility to complement renewables while maintaining reliability
- Optimisation and control of dispersed generation and demand side resources
- New loads and storage, and their characteristics
- Stochastic processes and optimisation
- Electricity market and policy issues
- ICT to enable the smart, flexible system