PhD scholarship in Grid Impact of Local, Blockchain-based Energy Markets

Updated: about 1 month ago

Apply no later than 20 August 2017
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The Energy Systems Operation and Management (ESOM) group at the Center for Electric Power and Energy (CEE) conducts research covering the development and analysis of new solutions for management and operation of future energy systems with a high share of renewable energy. One of the challenges in the field of smart energy systems is the integration of existing systems and infrastructures which were not designed with interoperability and/or integration in mind. These problems can be found at different scales and may include localized issues such as e.g. the integration of a demand response resource with an existing process control system, as well as the integration of entire infrastructures into multi-energy systems.

Work on these problems is multidisciplinary, often involving questions of IT architecture, telecommunications interoperability and the physical properties and limitations of energy systems and their components, among others.

Responsibilities and tasks
Energy systems are evolving towards an growing share of decentralized resources, with an increasing amount of renewable energy generation. The proliferation of rooftop solar production and household batteries leads to a more prominent role for end customers. A long-term vision of consumer-centric electricity markets has emerged, supported by energy market regulation which aims at a more flexible electricity market organization.

An Energy Collective (EC) is defined as a community of actors in the energy system which acts in a collaborative manner for optimized direct exchange between producers and consumers. The structure of energy collective is defined by the trade relations of its participants, rather than by the physical layout of the energy system.

The EnergyCollective research project is aiming to adapt current market designs and data infrastructures to enable consumer-centric electricity markets. The viability of the results will be demonstrated in the laboratory as well as at a field installation in a residential neighborhood near Roskilde, Denmark.

While in principle, the Energy Collective concept could be used as an operational concept for isolated microgrids, the most likely model in countries with existing and reliable grid infrastructure would be that of a virtual pool of grid-connected distributed energy resources. Energy Collectives would be required to integrate and cooperate with the operational procedures of existing grids. This would include measures to prevent Energy Collectives from being an undue burden to the grid operator (e.g. by overloading grid assets as a result of the Energy Collective’s internal optimization processes). Furthermore, Energy Collectives may be required (e.g. as part of a grid code) to have the capability to provide ancillary services to the grid, in order to help the integration of renewable energy into the overall power system.

The PhD project will analyze different aspects of the interaction between Energy Collectives and the rest of the electrical power system. Particular emphasis will be placed on the way Energy Collectives may naturally support grid operation by e.g. performing localized self-balancing, while also being able to provide grid services.

Specific attention will be paid to the issue of incremental roll-out. It is at the heart of the concept that Energy Collective installations will not happen as part of a utility’s technology rollout plan, but grow at their own pace, user driven and not necessarily predictable. In this context it is of great interest to understand in which way the grid impact changes if the number of installations becomes significant in a part of the grid. Part of this analysis will be done through co-simulation of the physical grid, control and information exchange and the market mechanisms.

Applicants should hold a MSc or equivalent degree in a relevant discipline, including but not limited to electrical power engineering, control engineering or automation.

The EnergyCollective project is highly interdisciplinary, and the evaluation of applicants will assign strong weight to the demonstrated curiosity for fields of work beyond the applicant's primary degree or specialization.

We are open to unconventional combinations of expertise; however, we consider the following two points to be essential skills: 

  • Familiarity with the application domain (electrical power system operation in general and smart grid concepts in particular)
  • The EnergyCollective combines academic analysis with practical implementation and tests in the laboratory and in the field. Applicants will be expected to actively participate in the design and execution of these tests. An interest in the real-world demonstration of the developed concepts and a hands-on mindset will be considered as important as the applicants' academic merits.
  • Applicants should possess practical programming skills in a modern object-oriented programming language such as Java, Python or C++/C#.

    Approval and Enrolment
    PhD scholarships are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general PhD programmes at DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide .

    The assessment of the applicants will be made by Oliver Gehrke, Senior Researcher and Henrik Bindner, Senior  Researcher.

    We offer
    We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in Northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.   

    Salary and appointment terms
    The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD students. The period of employment is 3 years.

    The workplace will be at DTU Risø Campus, Roskilde.

    Further information
    Further information may be obtained from Oliver Gehrke, . 

    You can read more about the Center for Electric Power and Energy on .

    Please submit your online application no later than 20 August 2017. Applications must be submitted as one pdffile containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include: 

    • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
    • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here )

    Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their MSc, but cannot begin before having received it.

    All qualified candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply. 

    The Department of Electrical Engineering is the central department at the Technical University of Denmark in electrical, biomedical engineering and acoustic technology. It is our goal to ensure an engineering training and research, which matches that of other leading universities around the world. The department is organized into sections each covering important areas of electrical, biomedical engineering and acoustic technologies. Including PhD students we have a total of 275 staff members. 

    DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.

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