The European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) is proud to announce the winner of its third annual Student Award Ankit Takle, who had conducted an outstanding research in the field of energy storage with the thesis ‘Simulation Based Analysis of Control Strategies for Heat Pump Integration in District Heating Networks’.
EASE: Congratulations on winning the 2018 EASE Student Award! We were very impressed with your thesis on ‘Simulation Based Analysis of Control Strategies for Heat Pump Integration in District Heating Networks’! Could you summarise the main focus and findings of your thesis?
Ankit: Thank you! I am glad that your esteemed panel recognized my work. My work falls under the umbrella of fourth generation smart energy systems, which focuses on having an inter-dependent energy usage to maximise its efficiency and to facilitate the integration of renewable energy resources into the grid. In my case, a “power-to-heat” approach was utilised wherein electricity fluctuates due to intermittent generation sources such as solar and wind which can be accommodated by heat-supplying mediums like heat pumps, which run on electricity and are coupled with a thermal energy storage medium.
My work focused on thermo-economic possibilities of large-scale heat pump integration in a district heating network along with a centralised thermal storage making use of variables such as the changing hourly spot prices and customer side load shifting strategies. Utilising the thermal mass of buildings as a storage medium was also taken into consideration. The results show a promising 15% reduction in heating costs due to dynamic pricing and load shifting, which is enabled due to the storage medium.
EASE: What are the most interesting insights from your work for the storage sector specifically?
Ankit: This thesis introduces two different strategies to include the role of energy storage which can be coupled with a heat supply medium to optimise its operating performance with other variables. These are: the thermal energy storage, and the building thermal inertia.
The latter plays a crucial role in optimising the heating costs along with an effective demand side management strategy results in significant cost savings for the entire system when coupled with the volatility of the variable electricity market. This can be a valuable step towards utilising innovative storage technologies for fourth generation smart heating systems.
EASE: What are your expectations for thermal energy storage technologies in the future? Will they have a major role to play in the energy transition?
Ankit: In my opinion, the energy transition cannot be achieved without an effective storage mechanism. As the world strives to increase renewable energy contribution to the generation pool, an increased effort has to be made in parallel to develop flexible energy systems to accommodate an unpredictable generation output from solar and wind. When we talk about flexibility, a necessity to store energy automatically arises. Hence, the role of energy storage is inevitable.
EASE: How did you get interested in the storage sector?
Ankit: As I was pursuing my Master studies in Sustainable Energy Systems from the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, it became clear that energy storage is the backbone of a sustainable, low-carbon energy system. As I mentioned, energy storage is critical to extract maximum potential from a sustainable resource. I am grateful to my University and the Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH for providing me with an opportunity to contribute to this field.
EASE: What are your future career plans? Do you see yourself working in the storage sector?
Ankit: I see myself working towards enabling decentralised integration of renewable energy systems as well as fields related to “Power-to-heat” and Smart electricity/heating grids. The role of the storage sector in these areas is crucial and therefore, I will definitely be contributing to the storage sector.
EASE: What are your expectations of the Energy Storage Global Conference 2018? What are you most looking forward to?
Ankit: I look forward to meeting up with researchers and industry leaders in the storage sector to gain knowledge, not only on the technological basis, but also on the policy making and regulatory developments in the future of energy storage.