Inaugural speech P.T.M. Vaessen (EWI): energy storage and conversion

29 November 2017 15:00 - Location: Aula, TU Delft - By: Webredactie

The electric power system - the largest man made machine on earth - is changing fast due to exponential growth, modular technology and hybridization. There is an unstoppable shift towards electricity as the “fuel of choice”, globally it will more than double over the next 35 years. Variable renewables will become abundant and dominate the electricity generation. Power electronics start to change the way power system are operated due to their superior controllability.

As big and small technology, will develop in parallel and the power system is increasingly becoming more complex with evermore and deeper interdependencies with other infrastructures, this inevitably creates a huge transformational shift of the more than 100-year-old system as we know it today. 

In the lecture the above-mentioned trends are presented in more depth, the consequences of hybridization of the power system are highlighted with respect to central and dispersed variable generation, overhead and underground transmission and distribution, power delivery - in the form of AC or DC - and protection and control.

The consequences of this transition for the power system are presented, as well as the challenges in component and system development and its verification and testing. New research areas, research tools and infrastructures are presented, needed for a greener, more affordable and more accessible electricity supply of the future.

And finally, the question is answered if transmission grids are still needed in the future.