Together we are accelerating the energy transition

We are on the verge of a fundamental energy transition. To reduce our CO₂ emissions, limit global warming and leave a livable planet for future generations. Day in day out, Delft scientists are working on projects that speed up this process. With the Tech for Energy campaign, Delft University Fund is contributing to this research and to the university's ambition to play a pioneering role. 

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Control Room of the Future

Until recently, the Netherlands had a fairly orderly "energy economy": power was generated in a limited number of perfectly controllable power plants and transported from there to the users. Because of the energy transition, that dynamic will change dramatically. Because with CO₂-neutral energy sources, such as solar and wind, supply fluctuates much more, is less predictable and geographically much more dispersed. Meanwhile, the demand for electricity is going to increase dramatically. Think of electric driving, and heating and industrial processes that currently use natural gas. Developments like these have an enormous impact on the electricity grid and the grid operators: balance maintenance and grid stability have become much more complex. Only if we make our existing grid resistant to these changes will a rapid energy transition be possible. As such, the infrastructure of our grid must be adapted accordingly. We need a smart grid in which supply and demand constantly communicate with each other and can be used flexibly and efficiently. TU Delft’s Control Room of the Future is established to tackle this challenge.

 

"When we switch to 100% renewable energy, without stabilizing hydropower plants, we need a very good management system to ensure grid reliability and supply.

Prof.dr. Peter Palensky

Specialist intelligent electric power grids Faculty of Electrical Engineering an

Digital twin enables innovation

The Delft control room is made up of digital twins; real-time, digital copies of the Dutch energy system. These twins enable the management of complex energy systems and form an important accelerator of the much-needed innovation. Peter Palensky: "You don't want to use the 'real' network for far-reaching tests; that's dangerous and can lead to outages. A digital twin is a virtual laboratory and lends itself perfectly for these tests. Compare it to a flight simulator. There a pilot learns to fly, but tests are also done that you wouldn't want to do with a real airplane." With a digital twin, you can test in real time, but also fast-forward in time and you can do hundreds of different tests side by side. This requires simulations and models that combine a lot of data.

Digital transformation

The energy transition requires a digital transformation of the power grid. It means that the entire grid, both the supply and demand side must become smarter and communicate with each other. But how do you accomplish such an immense change ?  At the Control Room of the Future, Palensky works on the digital transformation of the power grid. "In the future grid, electricity generators and users will communicate with each other. The grid will thus become an active partner instead of a static network. For example, the grid calculates that it will probably be completely full at 1 p.m. and starts communicating with the connected elements to make sure that doesn't cause a problem." The Control Room of the Future is a tool for systems so complex that the brightest human minds can no longer calculate with pen and paper what will happen. The more complete and faster the digital twin, the faster the innovation.

With a digital twin, you can test in real time, as well as fast-forward in time, and you can do hundreds of different tests side by side. This requires simulations and models that combine a lot of data.

Prof.dr. Peter Palensky

Specialist intelligent electric power grids Faculty of Electrical Engineering an

Additional reason to invest

The Netherlands has an additional reason to invest in the power grid of the future. "We are one of the few countries without natural, renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric plants. Fossil-fueled power plants are now used to keep our grid stable. Wind turbines, solar farms and other renewable energy generators fluctuate and depend on weather conditions. When we switch to 100% renewable energy, without stabilizing hydroelectric plants, we need a very good management system to ensure grid reliability and supply. It therefore makes perfect sense that we in Delft, driven pioneers, take the lead in this. The Control Room of the Future puts the Netherlands at the forefront of this technology."

Will you join us?

The current digital twin used by Palensky in Delft covers about 20 percent of the Dutch network in good quality. To get to a full, functioning digital twin, much remains to be done. Besides hardware, this also requires additional investments in scientists, new algorithms and models. Palensky has submitted several major grant applications to make this project possible. In the meantime, contributions from alumni will get things started.

Tech for Energy supports three labs

With Tech for Energy we support the 24/7 Energy Lab, a field lab researching a local carbon-free energy system for the built environment and the Floating Renewables Lab, aimed at designing, developing and implementing floating energy generating installations at sea on a large scale. The Control Room of the Future is the third lab in this campaign. 

Yes, I support the acceleration of the energy transition

UFD - Single donation with Mollie (Technology for Energy)

UFD - Single donation with Mollie (Technology for Energy)
I will donate to Delft University Fund

UFD - SEPA donation (Technology for Energy)

UFD - SEPA donation (Technology for Energy)
I hereby authorize Delft University Fund to (until further notice) withdraw the following amount from my account
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