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Master's thesis completed with honours in Energy Engineering

Andrea Ademollo has graduated with a distinction in Energy Engineering from the University of Florence.

Andrea Ademollo an der Universität von Florence

© Andrea Ademollo

Andrea Ademollo an der Universität von Florence

He defended his Master's thesis, which he developed at TU Wien in the Institute of Energy Systems and Electrical Drives, entitled: “"End-use sector coupling to better utilize utilise rooftop PVs by producing and injecting green methane into the low-pressure natural gas grid.”"

Environment protection policies and overall climate commitments require the decarbonisation of all sectors of the economy, which is one of the most significant challenges of this century. Integration ng Energy Systems of various economic sectors is considered the most suitable way to decarbonise them and reduce CO2 emissions. This process is known as Sector Coupling, and it describes the concept of a purposeful connection and interaction of energy sectors to increase the flexibility of supply, demand, and storingstorage. Another keyway to reducing CO2 emissions It enables the is through expandedfurther integration of distributed generation, which helps decarbonize the electricity vector, and gas vector using coupling components. In this work, the focus is firstly on finding parallelism between the electricity and gas grid as a preamble for the description and design of Power-to-Gas technologies, i.e., technologies proposed as a solution to transform electricity into gaseous energy carriers. Then, the effect of distributed injection of energy into both grid types was studied to understand how the gas network behaves when it includes multiple and distributed energy sources: Gas grids have traditionally been supplied only in one direction. The electricity low voltage grid and the low-pressure natural gas grid that supply different residential customers have been investigated. All residential customers have rooftop photovoltaic installations.  The pPhotovoltaic production is first used to cover the customer’s customer's electricity load. The surplus of electricity is used to produce green methane by coupling components (electrolyser and methanation reactor) and injecting it in a distributed way into the natural gas grid. The steady-state simulations for both grids are made using SINCAL, while coupling components have been simulated in Python. Results show that injecting electricity surplus back into the low voltage grid in many scenarios creates voltage problems. Thus, the electricity distribution system operator is forced to stop further installing rooftop PV facilities. While the alternative solution, i.e., the production of green methane by exploiting the electricity surplus and its injection into the low-pressure grid, doesn’t create pressure problems showing that gas grids’ technical limitations are much lower. The disadvantage is thatIn this case, compressors must should be installed at pressure reduction groups to make them bidirectional. The gas prosumer may use another great advantage offered by the gas network, in addition to the absence of pressure problems, is the possibility of exploiting the linepack effect, i.e., the pipeline storage capacity. It allows covering a part of the thermal load even in the evening without incurring additional costs to buy a storage tank for each customer plant. Finally, a further advantage of the solution proposed in this thesis is related to the fact that CO2 is needed to run the methanation process. This means that a CO2 market could be developed, encouraging big power plants to adopt carbon capture, thus helping to cut emissions not only from an end-user level but even from a production level. The holistic treatment approach of the the proposed solution will create the possibility to fill the underground storage plants in summer, when the electricity and green gas production exceeds electrical and gas demand. , to fill the underground storage plants so thatThus, at least for some time, natural gas no longer needs to be imported from abroad, e.g. from Russia.

His special thanks go to the excellent supervision by Professor Dr Albana Ilo, TU Wien, and Professor Carlo Carcasci, University of Florence.

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Enquiries to:
Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Albana ILO
TU Wien, Institute of Energy Systems and Electrical Drives
Gußhausstraße 25/370-1, A - 1040 Vienna
+43 (0)1 58801 370114, opens in new window, opens an external URL in a new window