De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has teamed up with a tech company on a new project which could ultimately help cut energy bills and implement large-scale clean energy use.
Cambridge Cleantech company Advanced Infrastructure is running a partnered with De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, which enables a business to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project.
Advanced Infrastructure develops and provides spatial analytics and digital twins for the energy transition, helping local authorities, distribution network operators and consultants to plan the rollout of low carbon infrastructure.
As part of the 18-month project, Advanced Infrastructure has welcomed researchers Pardis Sheikhzadeh, a science and engineering postgraduate from the Shahid Beheshti University in Iran and Nick Hay a science &and civil engineering postgraduate from University College London.
Pardis has joined Advanced Infrastructure as an Energy Systems Modelling Engineer, which will involve working with the data team to develop energy forecasting tools accounting for the change in customer demand due to electric vehicles and electric heating.
Also working within the data team, Nick joins as a Building Physicist who will develop building-level archetypes that can be used in energy system modelling, as well as building a prototype that is able to classify a set of buildings by age, size and fabric.
The duo will be responsible for delivering data structures that link energy and building stock models.
Data visualisations produced by the project will help speed up the numbers of Smart Local Energy Systems (SLES) being created. These are cleaner, lower carbon alternatives to the current centralised grid system, which distributes gas and electricity to homes and other consumers.
The idea behind SLES is to create a series of localised networks using more low carbon energy. For example, wind and solar electricity can be used more effectively through demand management. Electric cars could return stored power to the local grid at times of high demand, reducing fossil fuel gas generation.
For SLESs to grow and multiply, energy network operators need access to data and analysis tools to help them plan future projects. This KTP will develop advanced data aggregation techniques that overcome the issues with problematic data sets that exist at the moment.
Supported by Innovate UK, the KTP team leading the project include Advanced Infrastructure’s co-founder and CEO Christopher Jackson alongside Andrew Wright, Associate Professor in Building Energy Physics and Darsheet Chauhan, Knowledge Exchange office at De Montfort University.
Jackson said: “The past year has been a rapid period of growth as we build both our capabilities and headcount and we are thrilled to be in a position where we can now welcome two very talented postgraduates to join the team at Advanced Infrastructure.
“The scope of work that the KTP will involve over the coming 18 months will not only enable solutions to be created that tackle imminent issues we are facing off the back of the EU and UK’s targets of achieving net zero but also enables this the research to be utilised by academics at the university moving forward.”
Darsheet Chauhan, Knowledge Exchange officer at DMU, added: “In order to achieve the targets of net zero, we need to think bigger and move from smaller, isolated projects to connected, transformational changes that impact the whole energy system.
“Making it easier to deliver greener energy systems will ultimately mean lower consumer costs as well as benefits for us all in helping the climate emergency.
“We are delighted to have been awarded the opportunity to work alongside our partners at Advanced Infrastructure Technology Limited to deliver a data system that could be a step change for the energy industry.”
The additional two KTP researchers now bring Cambridge headquartered Advanced Infrastructure’s total headcount to 26 employees who work across four countries worldwide.
Advanced Infrastructure provides GIS tools, datasets and APIs to support energy planning and carbon optimised energy use.
Posted on Wednesday 1st February 2023