Platform-based design for energy systems


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Defossilization of the current energy system is a major requirement to decelerate anthropogenic climate change. However, a defossilized energy system is vastly more complex than current fossil-based energy systems: The integration of distributed energy resources and sector-coupling increases connectivity, demands interdisciplinary workflows, and creates a need for more sophisticated design processes. Inspired by the semiconductor and automotive industries, digitalization of the design process using platform-based design (PBD), coupled with the energy hub concept, can improve cost-effective energy systems design and accelerate the industry’s contributions to achieving net-zero emissions. PBD is an efficient and effective methodology to manage and de-risk the complexity of integrated energy system design, leading to affordable and reliable solutions due to the inherent techno-economic analysis underlying the decision-making process. Combining the PBD framework with the energy hub concepts establishes a powerful design workflow for developing holistic energy systems from a single building up to the district and city scales. The fundamental tenets of this workflow, as discussed in this paper, are (1) the separation of functions from architectures, (2) the identification of abstraction levels at which systems can be analyzed and optimized, and (3) the ability to repurpose components at all levels of abstraction to aid design reuse and allow performance feedback at every stage of the process. We argue that PBD can become the next frontier in energy system design. PBD, as presented in this paper, is not limited to the energy sector, and it can also be a sub-process of an even more holistic infrastructure design. Spatial planning, architecture, and civil engineering can all be further integrated with the PBD concept, allowing societies to reach ambitious sustainability goals faster, at lower cost, and with greater resilience.
Energy system design,Decarbonization,Transformation,Platform-based design,Automated design,Renewables,Distributed energy resources
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