Cyber Physical Infrastructure

To decarbonise the energy system by the year 2050, it is crucial that decision-makers are equipped with the insights they need to ensure their decisions are effective and influential. With increasing assets under the control and monitoring of digital systems, digital twin solutions are being realised as solutions able to exchange, digest, model and represent the increasingly valuable data streams being created.

Within this context, the purpose of Cyber Physical Infrastructure (CPI) is, in its broadest intent, to empower innovation, people, robots and smart machines to enhance prosperity, resilience, sustainability and security.  In practice this means development of capability across these strands cyber, physical and infrastructure.

Digitalisation offers a new opportunity to model the system at a high level of detail, enabling accurate monitoring of the predicted system changes and impact to consumers.  Beyond this, it can support decision making with the integration of probabilistic modelling, that enables decision makers to understand how outputs from such models have been generated.

The Challenge

Innovate UK set the challenge to a group of Catapults, including Energy Systems Catapult, to increase our capability with respect to CPI, to enable rapid engagement with innovation projects in this space in future years.

Energy Systems Catapult have worked previously for the  Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) to develop a Energy System Digital Twin Demonstrator and have expanded on this work within this programme, but recognised there were additional features we could gain experience in developing. As we continue to see digital twins becoming more and more prevalent within a multitude of sectors, we see that they potentially offer significant capabilities to address key aspects of the question: ‘How do we strategically decarbonise energy?’.

There were other identified areas of existing capability that we were able to develop further expertise in enabling us to quickly develop increasingly sophisticated and innovative projects.

The Solution

Over 5 months, the project was tasked with augmenting the DESNZ Digital Twin Demonstrator with additional Bayesian network capability and enhanced graphics, to allow probabilistic outcomes to be generated, supporting decision makers in a more robust manner than previously possible.

This was done in collaboration with Frazer Nash Consultancy and CityScape Digital, and a technical demonstrator developed using some of the Catapult’s core modelling capabilities. The outputs from this work were shared through a Gemini Call supported by the Digital Twin Hub.

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DESNZ Digital Twin Demonstrator Webinar (25 April 2023)

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Energy System Digital Twin - Visual Demonstrator (UK-wide to local impact of investment levels)

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Energy System Digital Twin - Visual Demonstrator (Impact of investment on homes)

The Outputs

We have also carried out studies on:

  1. Cyber Security and the Energy Transition, including cyber security consideration for digital twins
  2. Pathways to a Digitalised Energy System by 2035 (collaboration with ARUP)
  3. Uncertainty treatment in Digital Twins – Collaboration with the University of Edinburgh
  4. What data governance and organisation is needed to support Digital Twin studies
  5. The scope for an App supporting Low Carbon Technology installation
  6. Open data Pipelines
  7. Reinforcement learning
  8. Future System Operation – Collaboration with the University of Edinburgh

We have also reviewed and developed a new approach to Data Architecture & governance to support future Digital Twin studies.

All of this helps to inform and support future studies in Cyber Physical Infrastructure, and progress decarbonisation of the energy system

1. Cyber Security and the Energy Transition

Including cyber security consideration for digital twins, Energy Systems Catapult.

2. Pathways to a Digitalised Energy System by 2035

Energy Systems Catapult collaboration with ARUP and Foreward by Laura Sandys, Chair of the UK Government’s Energy Data and Digitalisation Taskforces.

3. Data Catalogue Scoping and Selection

What data governance and organisation is needed to support Digital Twin studies, Energy Systems Catapult.

4. Open Data Pipelines - UK Live Generation Data

GitHub containing the open data pipeline code to create a dataset that shows the current and historic electricity generation by UK Balancing Mechanism Units.

Access it here

5. Open Data Pipelines - Live Generation UK Map

Tableau map showing the half-hourly electricity generation by generator location and fuel type, as well as the fuel mix of generation per half-hour.

Access it here
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Open Data Pipelines - Gemini Call Feature Focus - Jessica Steinemann, Energy Systems Catapult (14th March 2023)

6. Reinforcement Learning - Prospects

Prospects for Reinforcement Learning.

7. Reinforcement Learning - Capabilities

CPI Report: Gaining capabilities in Reinforcement Learning.

8. Future System Operation

Future System Operation - Collaboration with the University of Edinburgh.

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