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Industrial Research Placement in Electricity Grid Stability with Sygensys

Industrial Research Placement in Electricity Grid Stability with Sygensys

Industrial Sponsor: Sygensys

Sygensys is a start-up developing demand management and energy storage systems to allow effective use of renewable energy sources. Our vision is to leverage the incredible potential of bi-directional power flow from electric vehicles and battery energy storage systems to help balance electricity supply and demand, both on public grids and local microgrids. Our products will provide a secure supply to domestic and industrial consumers even when electricity systems are hit by storm damage, equipment failure or cyber-attack.

Sygensys is developing patented technology to enhance the performance of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging and Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology improving grid resilience. We are working with a wide range of collaborators including grid operators, regulators, end users and semiconductor vendors to bring these innovative solutions to market.

Job Purpose

This project is to identify the cause of wide area voltage sags and swells on the GB electricity grid and help forecast how this may change as we move to 100% NetZero generation.

Sygensys is developing technology to maximise the beneficial impact of EV charging and V2G on electricity grid stability. We have a specific interest in the inertia time period, up to approximately 10 seconds. This is critical for grid stability immediately after generation or transmission faults occur.  Falling grid inertia, due to the use of renewable energy resources, is having a significant impact on grid frequency and voltage stability.

Sygensys have been analysing the impact of V2G as a potential source of synthetic inertia. Our in-house team have deep experience of grid stability modelling, grid operations and EV charging. We would like to collaborate with a researcher to identify the emerging threats, out to the mid 2030s, to grid short term (0 to 10 seconds) voltage stability post fault.  To include equipment failure and weather-related grid failures. We are particularly interested in issues which cause large scale voltage sags or swells impacting 100,000 plus consumers simultaneously.

Research could include looking at historic grid voltage disturbances and forecasting how grid transition to NetZero may impact the size, scale, frequency and underlying causes of such events.

During the project Sygensys will provide active input to the research activity.  Four of the current team of six in the company have PhDs and are familiar with academic research and collaboration. 

Output from the project should be a report highlighting key findings.

Sygensys are keen that this information is shared in the public domain and would encourage publication. We would not look to retain any IP from the research.  Similarly, we would not look to have any veto on the scope or content of the findings, beyond a pre-publication check that it does not disclose an Sygensys IP that may have been shared during the research period.

Ideally this project should align with the researcher’s interest and this short project could lead to a longer-term research collaboration.

Benefit to Researcher

  • Mentoring will be provided by Andrew Larkins CEO, with broader input from the team at Sygensys.
  • This project will give the researcher a greater awareness challenges to grid stability.

Placement Details

No. of Placements: This advert is for one placement.

Duration: The placement is one month in duration at 1.0FTE (i.e. full-time), but may be pro-rated for a part-time placement of up to five months (e.g. 1 day/week (0.2FTE) for 5 months or 2 days/week (0.4FTE) for 2.5 months).

Location: Remote if part-time (with intermittent travel to the site), optionally on site in Oxford, if full-time.

Special Conditions

This industrial placement is open to postdoctoral researchers based at C-DICE HEIs. You will be required to seek permission from your employing organisation to undertake the placement. The project will commence in February 2022.

All staff have a statutory responsibility to take reasonable care of themselves, others and the environment and to prevent harm by their acts or omissions. All staff are therefore required to adhere to the Sygensys Health, Safety and Environmental Policy & Procedures.

All staff should hold a duty and commitment to observing the Sygensys Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion policy and procedures at all times. Duties must be carried out in accordance with relevant Equality & Diversity legislation and Sygensys policies/procedures.

Expenses related to authorised travel for this placement will be covered. Salaries will be paid by the home institution as part of its commitment to fund personal and professional development of postdoctoral researchers and early career researchers (e.g. under UKRI or similar grants) or its pledged in-kind contribution.

The selection process is managed by the C-DICE Development Strand, led by Professor Chris Rogers and managed by Amy Beierholm at the University of Birmingham.

After the Placement

  • Confirmation of expenditure
  • Outcomes (e.g. publications, engagement activities) for impact tracking
  • A report highlighting key findings
  • The postdoc may be asked to engage with C-DICE events (e.g. Annual Conference or Business Engagement Events) and lead a C-DICE training activity in their area of expertise.

Eligibility

Essential Criteria

  • C-DICE target audiences are postdoctoral researchers (postdoc) and early career researchers (ECR) as defined by “a person professionally conducting research after the completion of their doctoral studies and/or while undertaking research as a member of staff at a collaborating institution”.
  • The postdoc or ECR must be currently employed by a C-DICE partner.
  • This opportunity is not intended for permanent teaching staff / lecturers.
  • A strong research interest in the electricity grid dynamics and the transition to Net-Zero.

Desirable Criteria

  • A detailed understating of electricity grid design and operation at transmission level, failure modes and protection systems.

Timeline

Online Placement / Secondment Event14 Dec 2021, 11:00-12:30
Deadline for applications14 Jan 2022 at 16:00
Notification of shortlistingw/c 17 Jan 2022
Confirmation interviewsw/c 24 Jan 2022

How to Apply

Applications may be submitted at any time prior to the deadline.

  • Sign up to Inkpath and link to C-DICE. For more details on how, click here.
  • Apply via Inkpath using Activity Code DPAB0003 or click the button above.
  • When you sign up for the activity, you will receive a link to an online application form.
  • If you need additional assistance with completing an application or Inkpath, contact Amy Beierholm at a.beierholm@cdice.ac.uk
  • You will need:
    • Applicant details (education & employment background)
    • Cover letter (max 500 words)
    • A narrative CV. For guidance click here

Supporting documents to be emailed to C-DICE at a.beierholm@cdice.ac.uk.

If you are successful, your supervisor will be contacted for a letter/email of support.

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