piSCES, one of TSSG’s leading smart energy projects, is funded under the EU Interreg Ireland-Wales Programme 2014-2020. The team have developed a Smart Cluster Energy System for the fish processing industry which ultimately reduces the cost and carbon footprint of energy networks in the fish processing industry by implementing smart grid technologies. This is done through modelling the usage profile of their energy networks and optimising that against the wholesale energy market and any available onsite generation. The piSCES operation consists of 4 partners – 2 of which have researched and developed the technology and 2 implementation partners (one of each in Ireland and Wales). Waterford Institute of Technology through its ICT research division TSSG, who lead the operation, and Cardiff University are engaged in the research, design and development of the microgrid networks in conjunction with production centres in Ireland and in Wales. The implementation partners, Bord Iascaigh Mhara in Ireland and the Milford Haven Port Authority in Wales, work with the fish processors and related industry to provide live data and test sites.
The piSCES operation has been very successful and delivered significant on-site savings for the participating trial sites. The technology is implemented in several industrial sites where flexible load is inherent in their processes. Polar Fish in Killybegs run a cold storage facility to keep their pelagic products at low temperatures before shipping to market. As there is a temperature band the product must be stored within, the refrigeration system can be ramped up and down within these bands. In other words, energy prices on the market vary on a half hour basis, therefore flexible loads can be ramped up when price is low and down when expensive. piSCES developed profiles as to how these cold stores react under various criteria and optimsation algorithms were used to control the processes to the best economic outcome. Actuation systems were also developed such that the platform remotely and automatically controlled the process based on the optimisation results.
Managing electricity costs
Another area with flexible loads is ice manufacture where processors require a daily amount of ice to chill and transport product. piSCES developed profiles of the energy and time to create a quantity of ice such that pre-set orders of ice can be made automatically at the best prices for a set time. This system was implemented in Arctic Fish in Killybegs and with the Port of Milford Haven in Wales. An energy cluster system was also developed in Milford Haven which facilitates energy sharing amongst the buildings within the port. Analysis and data monitoring were also completed at a number of other sites to facilitate energy optimisation.
These developments were recently discussed on our webinar entitled ‘The piSCES Platform – Leveraging Energy Flexibility and the Smart Grid’ as part of the projects closure event held on December 15th 2020. Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs opened the event with an overview of the landscape in which piSCES is developing this critical technology. Project partners and sites gave an extensive overview of the project and the impact the technology has had at industrial level. Sean Lyons, Principal Investigator of the piSCES Project & Technical Lead in TSSG, WIT discussed the details of the piSCES platform and its implementation across all the trial sites including the results achieved and how this technology fits with the Clean Energy Transition. All objectives have been fully achieved with ground breaking results which are successfully implemented at live sites. He thanked all stakeholders and in particular the funding agency, Interreg Ireland Wales, for all their help in helping the project realise its goals.
The technology developed in piSCES will be critical in the future smart grid. Energy communities will play a significant role where consumers will become active in the market and take control of the energy profiles. This will include local generation and sharing of energy such that these communities can become sustainable. Technology will play a central role to give users the intelligence and control to integrate within the market and become energy prosumers. The RegEnergy project is bringing the prediction & optimisation technologies developed in piSCES into these communities to deliver sustainable energy clusters.