Alessandro Pensini

Alessandro Pensini

Postdoc

Richard Petersens Plads, Building 322, Room 225

2800 Kgs. Lyngby

Denmark

Phone: 45253483

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Electric Power and Energy (CEE) in the Electrical Engineering Department at DTU.

My main research within the SmartMEA project consists in defining suitable applications and operating conditions for next generation high temperature PEM fuel cells (HT-PEMFC). Within the same project HT-PEMFC will be tested and manufactured in order to assess the market potential of this emerging technology.

At CEE I carried out my PhD on Energy Systems Integration from 2011 to 2014. The focus was on the integration of renewables into the energy system. During this period, I also participated to the EcoGrid EU project, developing optimization algorithms for operating DERs under a real-time pricing scheme and I jointed the Microgrids group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) as visiting researcher, working on a coordinated optimization model suitable for simultaneous control of multiple facilities connected to the same distribution feeder.

 

PhD project -   Energy storage and energy system integration

In the past few decades, the concept of sustainability has been increasingly discussed. It is now unanimously accepted that human activities must be carried out while taking into account the societal, economic and environmental consequences within their respective domains. The energy sector is particularly being addressed by current decision makers for regarding our sustainability footprint and the high potential for its improvement. Thus, a future dominated by renewable energy sources is seen as a main goal to be achieved as soon as possible. Though the implementation of such a scenario is a challenge at many levels, it must be tackled.

This project aims to investigate different options for addressing the issues of future energy systems in an Energy Systems Integration (ESI) framework. In particular and from a technical point of view, the power sector will be facing considerable challenges as deployment of fluctuating and non-dispatchable Renewable Generation (RG) and privately owned Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) increases. The most important problems when dealing with high renewable penetration electric systems are related to the loss in flexibility that correct grid operation requires for ensuring defined reliability standards. Traditional utility grids rely on a mix of dispatchable units that provide cheaper and bulk close-to constant output (baseload units, like nuclear and coal) or more expensive and flexible generation which is dispatched to cover peak demand (peaking units). Variable and unpredictable power generation and demand introduced by RG and DERs can undermine the existing grid balancing structures. Therefore, actions must be taken in order to efficiently integrate these new technologies.

ESI is the discipline that analyzes energy systems holistically and provides tools in order to address planning, design and operation challenges. ESI strategies can be undertaken by different entities- participating with energy systems- that require different objectives and constraints. Typical ESI outcome decisions take place in different forms: political mandates and regulation frameworks, the upgrading of obsolete hardware and infrastructure, deployment of new assets, implementation of new market structures and definition of advance operating and control schemes. When taking into account neighboring utility grids, the heating and cooling domain, as well as transport sector, the ESI scope is larger than single power systems and can take place on different pathways. Interplays among different energy domains can often provide a viable solution to several of the problems of future energy systems. One example would be coupling power generation with the heating system using heat pumps or integrating of transportation by means of electric vehicles.

 

Main research areas

  • Integration of renewables and DERs in energy systems.
  • Optimization problems in energy systems.
  • Solutions for integration between electricity generation and other parts of energy systems.
  • Energy storage technologies.
  • Laboratory testing of fuel cells on a small-scale system.

 

Scientific tools

  • Matlab; GAMS; LabVIEW; VBA; Homer; STAR-CCM+ (CFD); EES

CV

Education

2011 - 2014 PhD - DTU - Technical University of Denmark
2002 - 2007 BSc Electrical Engineering - Università degli Studi di Pavia, Pavia (Italy)
2006 - 2007 University Diploma in Hungarian Studies - University of Pécs – Balassi Institute, Budapest (Hungary)
2008 - 2010 MSc in Mechanical Engineering - KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (Sweden)

Professional experience

2013 - 2014 Visiting Researcher (LBNL) - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley (USA), EETD - Microgrids Lab
2011 - 2014 PhD candidate (DTU) - Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby (Denmark)
2006 - 2006 Trainee - CSE Srl, Pavia (Italy)
2008 - 2008 Engineer (consultant) - CSE Srl, Pavia (Italy)
2010 - 2010 Scholarship Holder - ABS Group, Stockholm (Sweden)

Languages

Italian (mother tongue), English (good working knowledge), Spanish (good knowledge), Hungarian (good knowledge)

My links

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  • Applied Energy

    ISSNs: 0306-2619, 03062619

    ISSNs (Electronic): 1872-9118

    Pergamon, United Kingdom

    ISI indexed (2013): yes, FI (2013): 1

    Central database

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