Keynote&Plenary Speakers for ICACER 2018



Prof. Harald Richter
Clausthal University of Technology, Germany

Speech title: RePowerBuf II - A Hybrid Energy Storage for Renewables

Abstract: Measurements, scientists have made in a wind park of 13 turbines by sampling data with high frequency, show that fluctuations in the wind velocity, and thus also in the electric power output, reach frequencies significantly higher than 1 Hz in their power spectrum. This is surprising because one could expect that higher frequencies would have been averaged between the turbines and thus fully nullified, but this is not the case. As reasons for that behaviour were identified turbulences at the turbine propellers, together with the intrinsic nature of wind. Even more surprising: high-speed measurements of sun irradiation in a sensor field show the same behaviour. Also here, a complete nullifying of higher frequencies does not occur, although the energy deposited in harmonic waves of 1 Hz and higher is less by 4 orders of magnitude than in the wind case. As a consequence, a smart power grid must have energy storages that operate at different time scales with different capacities which decrease with higher frequencies to compensate for renewables’ fluctuations. RePowerBuf II is a a proposal for such a hybrid energy storage which is based on 1.) a Power-to-Gas-to-Power (PtGtP) storage that covers the frequency range of 1 week to 30 minutes, 2.) a fuel-cell stack-storage that is responsible for the range of 30 minutes to 1 minute, and 3.) a Li-ion battery-pack that covers the range of 1 minute to 10 ms. Their capacities decrease by 1:1/30:1/1800, while their speeds increase by the same factors. Two LC-filters deliver the energies of higher-frequency harmonics to the 2nd and 3rd storage so that they can smooth them, while the PtGtP storage compensates low-frequency fluctuations only. In the presentation, the concept of RePowerBuf II is presented, together with a block diagram and implementation suggestions.   

Biography: Harald Richter got a ‘Dipl.-Ing.‘ diploma degree in Electrical Engineering with specialisation in Computer Engineering from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. H received a ‘Dr.-Ing.‘ degree in Electrical Engineering from Munich University of Technology, and in 1998, he acquired a ‘Dr. rer.nat.habil.‘ degree in Computer Engineering from the same University. Since 2000, he has the chair of Technical Informatics and Computer Systems at Clausthal University of Technology, where he works until today. He teaches computer organization and computer networks. His research interests are Cloud Computing, Real-Time Communication in Computer Networks, Renewable Energies and High-Performance Computing and Simulation.


Prof. Carlos Henggeler Antunes

University of Coimbra, Portugal

Speech Title: Exploiting the Flexibility of Residential Energy Resources Through Demand Response 


Abstract: The technological basis offered by smart grids is expected to foster the emergence a load follows supply pattern in electricity usage, motivated by the need to increase the penetration of renewable generation sources as a crucial component of the decarbonisation of economy. Price signals conveyed by dynamic tariffs schemes, determined according to supply availability and grid conditions, will expectedly be used to change load usage profiles under demand response programs. In face of energy prices with frequent and possibly large variations, consumer will be required to make the most of their flexibility in the usage of some appliances to lower the energy bill while taking into account comfort requirements regarding the provision of energy services (room heating/cooling, hot water, electric vehicle charging, dish/cloth washer operation, etc.). This active role of consumers can be made operational by an energy management system endowed with the consumer preferences regarding preferred time slots for the operation of loads and thermostat settings. A model is presented considering the minimization of the electricity bill and the possible discomfort associated with changes in the habitual appliance functioning, which can be integrated in a residential energy management system to control appliance operation on behalf of the consumer. Algorithmic aspects and illustrative results of distinct cost vs. comfort trade-offs will be presented.

Biography: Carlos Henggeler Antunes holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering (specialization in Optimization and Systems Theory), from the University of Coimbra in 1992. He is currently a Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra. He is member of the coordination committee of the Energy for Sustainability Initiative of the University of Coimbra. His areas of interest are multi-objective optimization, optimization using meta-heuristics, multi-criteria analysis, as well as energy systems and policies, with particular focus on energy efficiency and demand response. He has participated in several national and international R&D projects and in specialized consulting for companies. He is author of about two hundred papers in journals, book chapters and conference proceedings. He is co-author of the book "Multiobjective Linear and Integer Programming”.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Glotzbach

University of Applied Science in Darmstadt, Germany

Speech title: Hydrogen and Fuel Cells – Key Technology for the Energy Revolution

Abstract: The impact of global CO2 pollution can be mitigated by renewable energies, combined with a more efficient usage of all energy types. However, Renewables belong to the category of fluctuating energy producers. Their increased use has an impact on the balance between the generated and consumed power. It is estimated that the power grid will get out of balance if their fraction exceeds 50 – 60 % of the overall production. For this reason, storages will be needed for future energy supply. Such storages must be able to conserve and retrieve energy at different time sales: hours, days, weeks and months. Batteries will be used for the compensation of hourly and daily fluctuations. For longer periods, however, only gas storages are applicable. By electrolysis, surplus Renewable electricity can be converted into hydrogen which can be stored in turn in the public gas grid, at least up to a certain percentage to satisfy heat demands. Additionally, it can be re-converted into electricity by gas-operated power-plants. Finally, it can be stored apart from the gas grid and converted back when needed via fuel cells. Hydrogen thus offers a high potential for a decentralized energy supply. Moreover, a stable and independent power supply in various energy sectors can be ensured by it, because its underlying technologies have already proven to be reliable and to work with acceptable efficiencies. To summarize: water electrolysis and fuel cells will be the solution for a flexible integration of renewable energies into the energy mix. These technologies form a road from nuclear and fossil-fuel energy to the future and they will play an important role in our energy systems. This keynote speech will talk about the status and the hindrances on this path.

Biography: Thomas Glotzbach was born in Hilders/Germany in 1973. In 2005, he got a ‘Dipl.-Ing.‘ diploma degree in Electrical Engineering with specialization in Measurement and Control Technology from the University of Kassel. In 2010, he received a ‘Dr.-Ing.‘ degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Kassel for his work at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (Fraunhofer IWES). Since 2012, he is Professor at the University of Applied Science in Darmstadt, Germany, at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, division of Renewable Power Generation and Energy Storages. His lectures are on Renewable Energies, Electrical Power Supply, Hydrogen Technology and Fuel Cells. His research interests include Renewable Energies, Autarkical Power Supplies for Buildings, Hydrogen Technology and Fuel Cells.


Prof. Marc Alier

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunia, BarcelonaTECH, Spain(UPC)

Speech Title: On exponential technologies and sustainability challenges

Abstract: Technology has a clear influence on the way we live, our culture and how society functions, and last but not least our environment. At a moment when the transformational factor of technology is accelerating at an exponential pace, it is really important to reflect the direction that we want this acceleration to go. In this paper we present some of the factors relevant to this mater: 1) the influence of technology in the society and the environment. 2) The acceleration of some technologies that have tipped and are tipping in the 20th and 21th century. 3) The problem of sustainability when exponential growth is applied to a scenario with lineal growth of resources. 4) The opportunity that represent exponential technologies to fix current humanities difficulties. And 5) technology, exponential or not, is not enough to fix the problems humanity is facing since the problems are embedded in the culture that is fueling the development of the technology.

Biography: Marc Alier (1971) is an associate professor at UPC, book author, speaker, blogger, podcaster, and luthier. He received an engineering degree in computer science and a Ph.D. in Sustainable Development in the Polytechnical University of Catalonia (UPC). The last 20 years has worked in research and development related to the e-learning industry. He has participated in the development of several LMS and authoring tools and has been an online teacher. Since 2001, he has taught project management, information systems architectures, and computer science history and ethics. He is has been director of a master's programs in Mobile Apps Development, Business Intelligence, Cloud computing and Community Management at UPC School. Since early 2004, he has been a developer of the community contributing with third-party modules and core functionalities such as the Wiki module and the Webservices architecture and the IMS LTI consumer. Alier is also a podcaster at and Author of more than 100 publications in conferences and Scientific Journals, is the lead researcher of the research group and has been lead researcher of several research projects funded by the EU, the Spanish Government, and Google.

Dr. Kathryn Janda

University of Oxford&University College London, UK

Speech Title: Beyond Clean Energy Technologies: Challenges and Opportunities for Social Engagement

Abstract: A socially just and sustainable energy future needs to go beyond increased access to solar and other clean technologies that supply energy. To remake our place on the planet, we must make use of all transformation pathways, including increasing the social potential for change and reducing energy demand. This talk introduces technical, economic, social, and cultural perspectives on energy demand. It argues that clean energy research must include more engagement in energy demand at a variety of social levels: individual, institutional, professional, and urban. It suggests new forms of engagement can be generated through diverse socio-technical initiatives—led by cities, design professionals, artists, and researchers—which help transform conventional techno-economic relationships between energy, people, and the environment. Examples of these innovative relationships include citizen science, storytelling, participatory energy management, and green building design. The talk concludes with an argument in favor of interdisciplinary research collaborations to help grow the clean energy field in new ways.

Biography: Dr Kathryn Janda is a Principal Research Fellow in the Energy Institute at University College London. Her research investigates energy demand from a socio-technical perspective, concentrating on the intersection of technological innovation, organizational decision-making, sustainability, and energy policy. Dr Janda is particularly interested in how organizations and professions (re)design, use, own, and manage non-domestic buildings. She was a senior research fellow in the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford from 2007-17; in the US she held appointments at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and Oberlin College. Her work has been supported by the UK Research Councils, the Newton Fund, the Indian Department of Science and Technology, Electricité de France, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and the World Bank. She has served as an advisor to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (now BEIS), the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Department of Energy. She sits on the research committee for the Green Growth Knowledge Platform on Behavioral Insights, and she serves on the editorial boards of three journals: Energy Research and Social Science, Building Research and Information, and Architectural Science Review. She earned university degrees in electrical engineering, English literature, and energy and resources.


Previous Distinguished and Invited Speakers in ICACER 2017


Prof. Eugen RUSU

Director of the Council of the Doctoral Schools - vice-rector at Galati University 'Dunarea de Jos',  Romania 

Speech Title: Wave and wind energy extraction in coastal environment – present, perspectives and challenges