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 Mark Briers

Mark Briers

Impact and Partnership Development Manager - Cornwall New Energy

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 Tremough Innovation Centre 

 

Tremough Innovation Centre, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9TA

Overview

Role

Mark is the Impacts and Partnership Development Manager for the Cornwall New Energy project and is based on the Penryn campus. His role involves the bringing together of Cornish SMEs working within the smart energy sector with academics and students at the University to develop beneficial research projects and collaborations.

Cornwall New Energy is a 3-year project which has received funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The project aims to provide business support to small and medium enterprises ("SMEs") and community groups in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly ("CIOS") to enable them to plan towards installing renewable energy systems, adopt low carbon and environmental goods and services, develop innovations in the low carbon sector, access new market opportunities and improve their economic/environmental performance amongst other outcomes. It specifically supports SMEs to secure supply chain and innovation business opportunities arising from the development and growth of a low carbon and local energy market in CIOS, and similar export opportunities beyond the Region.

The University's role in this project is to offer expertise to Cornish SMEs in power electronics and smart grid development through micro-grid deployment. This is being delivered through a micro-grid demonstration and research project within one of the new buildings on the Penryn campus and encompases the following activities:

  • Barrier analysis - listing and description of the barriers to micro-grid deployment in the UK, together with suggestions to remove these barriers.
  • Modelling - development of a process for modelling micro-grid requirements (energy flows; storage requirements relationship with local grids etc).
  • Working closely with selected SMEs to develop bidirectional power electronic converters for charging and discharging batteries. This includes investigation of using alternative power electronic topologies and control systems to interface batteries with the power grid.
  • Communication system - research into the control of the battery charger and its communication with the battery management system in order to protect the battery for over/under charging.
  • Development of control systems to support the gird. In particular, a control system for grid Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) which will act within the distribution network and offer “virtual power plant” protocols for monitoring and control systems for aggregated generation, EV charging and static storage systems.
  • Power quality - a key element of optimising micro-grids will be monitoring power quality and ensuring this is maintained within acceptable parameters. We anticipate having the capability of providing active management of key parameters (voltage levels, power factor, harmonics, and frequency) as required.
  • The installation of an experimental 100kW micro-grid and battery storage system in Penryn campus, which will be used to interact with SME’s R&D projects, act as a proof of concept and teaching device as well as a further research facility.
  • Perform case studies on how to turn a number of specific sites into micro-grids. The case studies will be based on the Penryn campus and other suitable locations, where SMEs engaged in CNE have an aspiration to develop a micro-grid. Load and renewable energy data will be collected and storage size will be determined which will inform the research projects and will allow UoE to provide independent advice about new enabling technologies, as well as current and developing revenue opportunities in the smart energy sector.

Academics involved in this project are:

Profile

Mark had a previous career running a successful small business in London, but decided to change career paths, move his family to Cornwall and persue an area of great interest to him; renewable energy.

After completing his Masters of Engineering in renewable energy at University of Exeter on the Penryn campus, Mark took on the role of technical manager for a very forward thinking energy storage company based in Cornwall, where he was responsible for the deployment, operations and maintenance of energy storage systems and headed up the testing programs for the R&D project involving a smart energy management, monitoring and control device.

Mark has a keen interest in technology and is an advocate of clean energy and smart grid deployment.

 

Qualifications

Masters of Engineering in Renewable Energy from University of Exeter

Member of IET and EI

Links

Research

Teaching

Supervision / Group

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