Numerical investigation of the effects of large scale development of intermittent renewable energy sources on baseload nuclear power plants

Nyomtatóbarát változatNyomtatóbarát változat
PhD típus: 
Doctoral School of Physical Sciences
Aszódi Attila
Email cím:
Institute of Nuclear Techniques
Full professor
Tudományos fokozat: 
Dr. habil, PhD

Climate change, sustainability and the energy transition are clearly within the most important challenges what the mankind faces nowadays. By decreasing CO2 emissions in energy production non-fossile technologies are preferred, therefore renewable energy and nuclear power are clearly on the list of low carbon technologies. However sustainability is much more than simply the transition to low carbon or carbon neutral technologies. Besides the environmental pillar sustainability has economical and sociological aspect, too, for which specific requirements have to be fulfilled. The worldwide planned energy transition cannot be successful without technical solutions which ensure continuous supply of electricity because of the high importance of security of energy supply.

In many regions in the world like in the European Union large scale development of intermittent weather dependent renewable sources is underway, which challenges largely the electricity system currently in use. The low availability and the high intermittency of the mostly preferred renewable sources like wind and solar power requires high level of system integration, very well developed high capacity transboundary connections, more advanced energy storage technologies, and most importantly good planning and adequate design of energy systems and system components.

The developments challenge also conventional power technologies like nuclear power plants because the latter are designed mainly for baseload operations with as low as possible load changes. With the increasing level of intermittent renewable sources new type of load following could be required in nuclear power plants. 

In the recent years detailed energy system models have been built in the Institute of Nuclear Techniques of BME in order to analyze the possible future load pattern of the Hungarian and European electricity system taking into considerations different energy scenarios and different power plant portfolios. In these calculations the yearly load curve of the system was modelled in hourly resolutions. For the calculations different energy scenario codes of the International Atomic Energy Agency have been used. In these investigations we learned however the limitations of these codes. The objective of this PhD research is to develop new models, new mathematical solutions and implement new software applications in order to model future energy scenarios more precisely.

The PhD candidate would perform the following tasks:

  • Study the latest findings of the international literature on energy scenario modeling tools and results
  • Evaluate the possible energy policy scenarios based on the relevant energy policy documents of Hungary, the European Union, the European countries with the special attention on Central Europe and the Balkan region
  • Select – at least – one modeling tool which will be able to described the selected energy scenarios and power plant portfolios (e.g. the IAEA’s ESST program)
  • Develop the procedures and algorithms to model the load following features of the nuclear power plant units at least on the basis of hourly resolution simulations
  • Design and develop the methods and algorithms to take into considerations technical limitations of large baseload units like NPPs (limitations originated from thermomechanical loads, Xenon-poisoning, lifetime limiting factors, safety limits etc.)
  • Propose methods to model grid scale energy storage systems, describe their specific features especially power, capacity, load change speed, etc.
  • Investigate the possible effects of the future electricity systems on the baseload nuclear power plant
  • Derive conclusions on the requirements to be set for the nuclear units’ instrumentation and control systems
  • Discuss different options for the electricity system development
  • Adequate knowledge of energy systems and energy scenario simulation
  • Experience in numerical algorithm and software development
  • Intermediate or higher level of knowledge in instrumentation and control of nuclear power plants
  • Energy engineering background, multi-disciplinary perspective and energy policy interests are clear advantages
  • Affinity for using computational modelling tools
  • Good level of English
  • Good writing skills in Hungarian and English
  • Diligence, precision, commitment
Munkahely neve: 
Institute of Nuclear Techniques
Munkahely címe: 
1111 Budapest, Műegyetem rkp. 9