Designing Robust Energy Systems Under Uncertainty

Avinash Subramanian, PhD, NTNU (associated PhD)

An energy system is used to denote all the process that are involved in the conversion and distribution of a primary source (such as natural gas, solar energy, uranium, wind etc.) to a final usable product such as electricity or heating. However, the economic feasibility and profitability of such an energy system remains highly dependent on external factors such as market prices, government policies and technological disruption. For this reason, it is essential to account for such uncertainties right from the early conceptual stages. My research involved the use of systematic approaches to incorporate uncertainty using methods based on mathematical programming. One key challenge is that inclusion of uncertainty implies that the size and computational requirement of the model explodes. Thus, novel decomposition algorithms and software are used in this project that allow for scalable solution of large-scale optimisation models. The PhD project illustrates the economic value of designing such a robust energy system with a case study of a process converting natural gas and solid waste tire to multiple products.