Alejandro Navarro Espinosa

Third Year PhD Student, Electrical Energy and Power System Group.

For me, a PhD is more an opportunity than a degree. It is the opportunity to dedicate myself 100% to contribute a little bit to create the conditions to reach a more sustainable economy through the incorporation of low carbon technologies in the Power Systems. 

Background

I came to Manchester because this is the place where the industrial revolution began. The contribution to the fast development of the industrial economies started here, and therefore the contradictions of our economic system also appeared here firstly. Indeed, “The condition of the working class in England” was totally based on the experience of Engels in Manchester many years  ago.   The progress in some of our societies but also the pollution created can track their origins to our beloved city. For that reason, Manchester must be the place where the low carbon economy revolution begins, we created the progress in the past and now we need to clean it.

Research

My research is about how to maximise the penetration of low carbon technologies (photovoltaic panels, electric vehicles, electric heat pumps and micro-combined heat and power units) at residential level (power to the people) minimising the technical impacts in low voltage distribution networks.

Basically, my main research duties are documentation (literature review), modelling and programing (modelling of different low carbon technologies, networks and feasible solutions), results analysis (simulations results and real data analysis), discussions (individual meetings with the supervisor and group meeting with other students) and dissemination (meetings with the industry, conferences and journal papers).  The thing that I like most in the Power Systems Research is the opportunity to be the link between the industry and the academia by working in real life projects but with the inner flexibility and creativity of a PhD investigation.  The project that I am working in also has the collaboration of a Postdoc researcher, who is in charge of the data management that supplied information to my models. After the creation of those models and methodologies, I have supplied some of them to other student in my Supervisor’s research group.

Since I did my MSc under the supervision of Dr Pierluigi Mancarella and now I am doing my PhD with Dr Nando Ochoa, I have had the opportunity to work with the research groups of both academics. Thus, I have collaborated with students of both lecturers, producing several conference papers as a result. Furthermore, my project is funded by The Low Carbon Fund through Electricity North West and therefore the dissemination with the partner Company and with other DNOs is permanent.

Part of the work done during my PhD has been presented in different conferences around the world such as Montevideo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Zagreb, Vancouver and Washington. 

Future

After the technical background obtained during the MSc and PhD in Manchester, I would love to use this knowledge in the creation of realistic (from the technical point of view) energy policies in some International organization. I am looking forward to work in rural electrification with low carbon technologies and/or in the penetration of low carbon technologies in developing countries.

I hope that my research will contribute to increase the penetration of low carbon technologies at residential level in order to decrease the pollution associated with the energy consumption and to increase the efficiency in the Power Systems.

In my opinion, the whole idea of the incorporation of distributed generation and low carbon technologies is to give more “Power to the People” not only in the sense of self power generation but also in terms of independence from the big power companies and more control about the type of energy that each of us want to produce/consume. This “Power to the People” is not free, it comes with responsibilities from each person in the Society, it is not only about the incorporation of PV panels; it is also about the efficient utilization of them. This is the “game changer”, we are the “game changer”, only if we decide to use less energy, if we decide to use it more efficiently, if we decide to move to a low carbon economy, then, the technical solutions that I am proposing will be available to facilitate the path to the Sustainable Society. This “game changer” is not technical at all; it is more difficult than that, it is the will to modify our behaviour for the common weal.

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