UCL is delighted to celebrate another PhD success for LoLo CDT, with Salman Siddiqui passing his viva in May 2022. Congratulations to Dr Siddiqui, who has since joined BEIS to work on industrial decarbonisation policy.
We spoke to Salman about his time with LoLo CDT.
Thesis title: Modelling District Heating in a Renewable Electricity System
Tell us about your work and time with the LoLo CDT/what was your PhD about?
My research examined how district heating with heat pumps and thermal energy storage can integrate with and support an electricity system with predominantly renewable generation. It cut across several broad areas, analysing supply and demand patterns and how district heating can combine the two economically to reduce the cost of heating, while providing valuable flexibility for the electricity system.
The PhD for me was as much an exercise in learning modelling methodologies and developing my modelling skills alongside knowledge of economics and engineering relating to renewable energy and provision for heat in buildings. The novelty of my modelling is that it was underpinned by the same set of meteorology data, fundamentally coupling supply and demand patterns. I applied optimisation techniques to assess the impact of thermal energy storage within district heating systems upon the whole system, highlighting its potential benefits to the UK’s energy system.
What were the highlights of LoLo?
Without a doubt the colleagues and other LoLo students who helped me get through these past few years. Having the support of peers and researchers from a mix of disciplines and backgrounds to share ideas has enriched all our research and experiences. The summer events were always fun and built a real group spirit. Also, the help provided by academic and administrative support staff was invaluable, reducing some of the burden allowing me to focus on the research.
What are you doing now?
I’ve now joined BEIS with a slight shift in focus, working on industrial decarbonisation policy.