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Small modular reactors could play an important role in future energy systems

AUG 11, 2023
Complimenting wind and solar with nuclear power could help create a balanced and efficient energy grid in geographically-challenged locations.
Small modular reactors could play an important role in future energy systems internal name

Small modular reactors could play an important role in future energy systems lead image

As the world shifts away from carbon-emitting energy systems, integrated energy systems (IES) are on the rise. These systems rely on multiple renewable energy sources to mitigate the intermittent nature of wind and solar generation. They can provide reliable and stable power generation for different energy sectors, including green hydrogen fuel production. Jacob and Zhang present the first model of an IES that includes a small modular reactor.

“In this paper we used physics-based representations that accurately capture the physical IES behavior for modeling the energy management and control,” said author Jie Zhang. “The goal here was to meet the electricity demand of the grid while generating green hydrogen using the remnant nuclear energy, thus improving efficiency and flexibility of the IES.”

Using the Modelica language, the researchers created a model that tested the performance, control, and safety of the IES. Different configurations of the IES were modeled and tested under varying energy demands. To demonstrate system control, the model used an architecture of subsystem-level controls.

“The IES system and the control we designed were able to efficiently utilize renewables by diverting energy to alternate paths,” said Zhang. “This implies that the energy management and control design could be deployed in real-world systems.”

This type of system would be beneficial in remote and off-grid locations where other renewable energy sources are not available.

The authors hope to combine their results with ongoing projects to develop a reinforced learning model for IES control.

Source: “Modeling and control of nuclear-renewable integrated energy systems: Dynamic system model for green electricity and hydrogen production,” by Roshni Anna Jacob and Jie Zhang, Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy (2023). The article can be accessed at https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0139875 .

This paper is part of the Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems Collection, learn more here .

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