Systems Engineering and Integration

Introduction

For the UK to meet carbon reduction targets and achieve clean growth ambitions, the transformation of the energy system needs to consider the integration the physical, digital and market systems.

Energy Systems Catapult uses expertise in Systems Engineering and Integration to work with government, academia and industry in helping to organise and integrate the physical, informational, operational and economic components of the energy system.

The Challenge and Opportunity

Transforming the UK energy system to be clean, secure and affordable requires integrating and optimising solutions and innovations from a range of previously separate systems including power, heat, transport, and communications.

This future energy system must ensure the physical, informational, operational and economic components of a system are organised and integrated.

To effectively integrate systems, solutions must be considered from all relevant aspects – technology, people, policies, regulation, business models, market mechanisms and much more. Comparing a range of concepts and innovations to find the appropriate balance between opportunity and risk, considering the views of all relevant parties, and managing the inevitable conflict between them.

Our Asset

Energy Systems Catapult’s Systems Engineering and Integration team takes all the elements, activities and viewpoints of a problem and helps deliver a system to solve it – optimising for performance, schedule and cost. From requirements capture, through systems design, integration and test, to training, operation, support and disposal.

Our Approach

Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary, whole life-cycle approach that delivers added value and reduces risk to acceptable levels.

Systems Engineering helps cope with complexity: challenging assumptions; managing real world issues; to produce the most efficient, economic and robust solutions to the needs being addressed. By using Systems Engineering, project costs and timescales are managed more effectively by having greater control and awareness of the project requirements, interfaces, and the consequences of changes.

Systems Engineering can:

  • Provide the mechanisms to converge on a value-added solution that can be delivered to solve the right problem at the first attempt.
  • Take a holistic, whole-lifecycle approach to solving problems by considering both the solution and the impact of that solution on its environment.
  • Use appropriate tools, methods and skills to deliver a fully integrated ‘Whole System’ solution that benefits from managed risk, lower costs and faster implementation.

Systems Integration is a key component of Systems Engineering, helping to ensure Whole System solutions are delivered that focus and balance different stakeholders’ needs.

Successful Integration requires systems to be considered from different perspectives – from technology to people, policies, regulation, business models and market mechanisms. Integration helps develop approaches, tools, frameworks, methods and skills that support the full life-cycle of an integrated system solution. When applied, we can examine how previously separate systems and operating models can work together with new innovations to deliver integrated, mutually supportive systems.

Systems Integration can:

  • Enable new and existing solutions to function as a coherent and effective whole;
  • Ensure focus and balance is applied to stakeholder needs;
  • Identify and address Whole System issues, across technology, people, policies, regulation, business models and markets.