Title: DESIMAX – Multiscale Modelling to Maximise Demand Side Management

PI: Prof. Steve McLaughlin, Heriot-Watt University & Prof Peter McGregor, University of Strathclyde

Fund: £389k TEDDI Longer

Project lifespan: Oct 2010 to April 2014



Aims: The overall aim of DESIMAX is to develop the whole-systems approach necessary for the full employment of demand-side management within the overall energy supply system. This project develops a novel electrical modelling approach to represent individual households and determine the impact of possible future load changes on network power flow and power quality. The modelling approach begins from individual user behaviour and load interaction, and can be adjusted to include modifications in response to demand-side management scenarios. In a second modelling phase, the individual households and complex networks are represented by simplified models to trace the impact of low-voltage demand-side interventions on the wider-area network. The scenarios are defined based on the expected participation of user/loads for current and near future load use statistics.

Project themes: 1-User behaviour and load interaction modelling: representation of typical UK end-use behaviour and interaction with electrical loads; 2-Survey of UK electrical loads: creation of database of UK loads, in terms of use, consumption and additional electrical characteristics; 3-Load profile and model GUI- development of publically available software of load modelling tool; 4-Network analysis: analysis of low-voltage and medium voltage electrical networks to determine the local and wider-area impact of demand-side management scenarios.


Results of small-area networks suggest possible reductions in consumer electricity cost and environmental impact by specific demand-side interventions. The analysis highlights that changes in load use should not only be assessed in terms of active power, but should include full assessment of active and reactive power flows to accurately quantify the impact on overall system energy efficiency.

Academic partners:

Heriot-Watt University

Prof Steve McLaughlin

The University of Edinburgh

Dr Aristides Kiprakis

Prof Gareth Harrison

Prof Robin Wallace

Dr Adam Collin

Mr George Tsagarakis

Dr Sasa Djokic

The University of Nottingham

Prof Tom Rodden

The University of Strathclyde

Prof Peter McGregor

Industrial partners:

Areva T&D



Scottish Power

Scottish and Southern Energy International Union of Energy Applications

Wilson Energy

Key outputs:

A. J. Collin, G. Tsagarakis, A. E. Kiprakis and S. McLaughlin, ‘Development of low-voltage load models for the residential load sector’, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems.

A. E. Kiprakis, I. Dent, S. Djokic, and S. McLaughlin, ‘Multi-scale dynamic modelling to maximize demand side management’ in proc. 2nd IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe, Manchester, UK, Dec. 2011.

A. J. Collin, G. Tsagarakis, A. E. Kiprakis, and S. McLaughlin, ‘Multi-scale electrical load modelling for demand-side management’, in proc. 3rd IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe, Berlin, Germany, Oct. 2012.

Project software output: Load profile and modelling tool [online]. Available: