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Advertising division: IEK-3 - Techno-economic Systems Analysis
Reference number: 2019M-119, Electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, energy engineering, physics, mathematics, computer science

Master thesis: The Development of Safety Factors for Storage Capacities Based on Markov Chains

Facing the turnaround in energy policy and the growing share of intermittent energy sources such as photovoltaic and wind, the Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK-3) develops new energy system design solutions. For this, models are developed to determine cost-optimal and feasible energy systems based on existing input time series such as electrical or chemical energy demand and energy generating potentials like wind speeds or irradiance at specific places for a large number of discrete time steps. In order to keep the models computationally tractable, the input time series are usually clustered and, in this way, aggregated to a small number of typical days or weeks, with the goal to reduce the complexity and number of variables for large systems. In order to incorporate seasonal storage incorporating filling or withdrawal across longer periods of time, the typical days are linked to each other with an additional set of variables and constraints including a sequence of typical days. However, this sequence of typical days varies for different weather years, which indicates that capacities of seasonal storage optimized for a single weather year are likely to be suboptimal for multiple years with respect to both cost-optimality and robustness.

Your Job:
The offered thesis aims at the development of safety factors for storage capacities derived from cost optimizations of a subset of weather years. In a further step, determined storage capacities are proven to be sufficient for other weather years and the cost increase is compared to optimizations without safety factors. Concretely, your job can be divided into the following steps:

  • Literature research on probabilistic storage models.
  • Induction into our existing energy system models.
  • Development of mathematical methods to define confidence intervals for sufficient storage capacities and deriving safety factors.
  • Running test cases for a small energy system model with identical typical periods but in different order based on twenty years of input data.
  • Validation of the calculated safety factors for storage capacities by testing the different sequences of typical days from real and synthesized weather years for the once determined storage capacities.
  • Conclusion for the safety of energy system models designed for only one year of input data and the impact of safety factors for storage capacities on system costs and robustness.

Your Profile:
Very good academic marks in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, energy engineering, physics, mathematics, computer science or related fields of study. Ability to work autonomously and analytically within a project team. Ideally you already have experience in modelling, programming (preferred in Python) and a high affinity for complex mathematical problems.

Our Offer:

  • A pleasant working environment within a highly competent, international team in one of the most prestigious research facilities in Europe.
  • You will be supported by top-end scientific and technical infrastructure as well as close guidance by experts.
  • You will have the opportunity to work with excited researchers from various scientific fields and take part in the design of a future German and European energy system.
  • Your work is remunerated.
  • Depending on your performance, the small work packages can be adapted.

Maximilian Hoffmann
Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK)
IEK-3: Techno-economic Systems Analysis
52425 Jülich
Phone.: +49 2461 61-85402

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