Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), Belgium 

KU Leuven was founded as an autonomous university in 1425. In 2015, it holds the 35th place in the world-wide Times Higher Education ranking, which makes it the highest-ranked university in Belgium and convincingly ranks it among the European top. The research group ELECTA (Electrical Energy and Computer Architectures) is part of the Department of Electrical Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering Science. ESAT-ELECTA specialises in electric energy and robust control, esp. for smart grids. Its research activities cover a wide spectrum from power systems to power quality and power electronics to control, dependable information infrastructures, and socio-economic issues. The main research topics include: power system operation and control; connection of distributed energy resources; smart grids and buildings; power electronic components and systems; robust, distributed coordination, control and optimisation; power system economics; and multiscale, multiphysics modelling.

The research group ELECTA has 5 full-time professors, 8 part-time professors, 6 post-doctoral researchers, 14 administrative and technical persons, 50+ PhD students, and approximately 15 affiliated researchers. Together with VITO and imec, KU Leuven has founded EnergyVille (www.energyville.be), a top-in-the-field European research centre for sustainable energy in the built environment.

KU Leuven Energy Institute, closely cooperates with the mechanical engineering department (on thermomechanical aspects of energy, heat networks, heat appliances), and with the building engineering department (on building physics, where buildings use, produce or store energy under various forms).

Key Investigators

Prof.dr.ir. Geert Deconinck is full professor at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven, Belgium). His research focuses on robust distributed coordination and control, specifically in the context of smart electric distribution networks. In this field, he has authored and co-authored over 400 publications in international journals and conference proceedings. He authored or co-authored 5 books and edited 2 more. He has been principle investigator in projects, worth over 8.7 M€ budget over the last 5 years. Up to December 2015, he has been (co)supervisor for 26 successful PhDs, and is currently (co)supervisor of 10 PhD students. He is active in the research centre EnergyVille, the research centre on energy for sustainable cities, where he is scientific leader for the research domain ‘algorithms, modelling, optimisation’, applied to smart electrical and thermal networks. He is a fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) (M 2006, F 2013), a senior member of the IEEE and of the IEEE Reliability, Computer and Power & Energy Societies (sM 1988, M 1996, SM 2000).

Prof.Dr.ir. Ronnie Belmans received his MSc degree in electrical engineering in 1979 and a PhD degree in 1984, both from KU Leuven, Belgium. In 1989 he added a Special Doctorate from the KU Leuven and in 1993 a ‘Habilitierung’, from the RWTH, Aachen, Germany. Currently, Ronnie Belmans is full professor at KU Leuven. His research interests include smart grids, security of energy supply and the techno-economic aspects of the liberalization of the electricity market. Within Belgium, he is cofounder and CEO of EnergyVille, a research collaboration in Genk specializing in energy in smart cities and buildings, in cooperation with VITO and imec. On a global scale he is executive director of the Global Smart Grids Federation (GSGF). Ronnie Belmans is also honorary chairman of the board of directors of ELIA, the Belgian transmission system operator.

Completed and on-going projects

They have an impressive track record of undertaking a number of EU and other funded projects, since more than 30 years. They are active as a partner in EIT-KIC-InnoEnergy technology area on Smart and Efficient Buildings and Cities.
Relevant examples include

  • 2009-2011: EU-FP7-SEESGEN-ICT: Supporting Energy Efficiency in Smart GENeration grids through ICT (FP7 thematic network)..
  • 2009-2013: COST action 0806 Intelligent Monitoring, Control and Security of Critical Infrastructure Systems (IntelliCIS).
  • 2009-2012: EU-FP7-OPTIMATE: An Open Platform to Test Integration in new MArkeT designs of massive intermittent Energy sources dispersed in several regional power
  • 2010: ESMIG, use cases for smart metering
  • 2010: FOD/Econ-project 2009/S2/E2/COMPTEURS_INTELLIGENTS, Studie over slimme meters vanuit de invalshoek van de consumentenbescherming en de opdracht van openbare dienst.
  • 2009-2012: BELSPO-SSD project INESPO: Innovative instruments for Energy Saving Policies: White Certificates and Complementary Currencies.
  • 2010-2012: IBBT-ICON project SmartE, Smart Energy – ICT for Energy Efficiency.
  • 2009-2014: IWT-project Linear – Lokale Intelligente Netten en Energie-Actieve Regio's.
  • 2010-2011: SONY, smart grid: evaluating trends
  • 2011-2013: IBBT-ICON project SPARC, Smart Plug-in Automobile Renewable Charging Services..
  • 2011-2016: GOA-project (GOA/2012/013), Fundamentele studie van een CO2-emissievrij energiesysteem.
  • 2011-2013: NGinfra-project 05.25.KUL, Multi objective optimisation for intra-grid control applications in smart grids. Next Generation Infrastructures Foundation.
  • 2011-2014: EIT-KIC InnoEnergy INSTINCT (ICT solutions for active distribution networks and customer interaction).
  • 2011-2014: EIT-KIC InnoEnergy KIC-ASS (Active Substations)
  • 2013-2014: FM-Biased (HOME/2012/CIPS/AG/4000003783), Formal Methods: Business Impact of Application to Security Relevant Devices
  • 2013-2016: EU-FP7-ENERGY-GARPUR, Generally Accepted Reliability Principle with Uncertainty modelling and through probabilistic Risk assessment,.
  • 2014-2016: ISP/13/05TS, Game-theoretic based optimization technique in large scale networked systems with the applications to smart grids, with Tsinghua University.
  • 2014-2016: EIT-KIC InnoEnergy SAGA (Market Ready Cyber Security Modeling Language)
  • 2015-2018: IWT-SBO 140047: SMILE-IT: Stable MultI-agent LEarnIng for neTworks,
  • 2015-2018: H2020-LCE-2014-3, project 646469: P2P-Smartest: Peer to Peer Smart Energy Distribution Networks.

KU Leuven brings in its EnergyVille test platform which is a 150 kVA smart grid matrix laboratory, that can be coupled to an RTDS (real-time digital simulator), to local generation, controllable loads and appliances, the battery lab and to the heat networks from its thermal lab.

Key publications

  • S. Iacovella, F. Ruelens, P. Vingerhoets, B. Claessens, G. Deconinck, "Cluster Control of Heterogeneous Thermostatically Controlled Loads Using Tracer Devices," IEEE Trans. on Smart Grid, accepted for publication in 2016. Online since 26 Oct. 2015, http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TSG.2015.2483506
  • S. Vandael, B. Claessens, M. Hommelberg, T. Holvoet, G. Deconinck, "A scalable three-step approach for demand side management of plug-in hybrid vehicles," IEEE Trans. on Smart Grid, Vol. 4, Iss. 2, June 2013, pp. 720-728. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TSG.2012.2213847
  • K. De Craemer, S. Vandael, B. Claessens, G. Deconinck, "An Event-Driven Dual-Coordination Mechanism for Demand Side Management of PHEVs," IEEE Trans. on Smart Grid, Vol. 5, Iss. 2, March 2014, pp. 751-760. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TSG.2013.2272197
  • M. Maenhoudt, G. Deconinck, "Strategic Offering to Maximise Day-Ahead Profit by Hedging against an Infeasible Market Clearing Result," IEEE Trans. on Power Systems, Vol. 29, Iss. 2, March 2014, pp. 854-862 http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TPWRS.2013.2286005
  • W. Labeeuw, G. Deconinck, "Residential Electrical Load Model based on Mixture Model Clustering and Markov Models," IEEE Trans. on Industrial Informatics, Vol. 9, No. 3, Aug. 2013, pp. 1561-1569. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TII.2013.2240309