The International Energy Research Centre (IERC) at Tyndall National Institute, based at University College Cork, has secured funding from the SEAI National Energy Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Funding Programme to develop a network-aware Community Energy and Flexibility Trading (CEFT) framework powered by artificial intelligence to enable forecasting of local energy market movements and improve decision-making. 

The IERC has also secured funding from the same funding programme to research new technologies to reduce the cost of high-powered EV chargers that can charge electric vehicles (EVs) quicker, more efficiently, and more effectively.

Both of these projects were officially launched at Tyndall National Institute.

1. Energy Community-Based Local Electricity Market

IERC’s research has found that there is a lack of clarity in terms of market validation, policies, regulations and standards for defining energy communities in Ireland. These energy communities are groups of people (energy end users) who come together to improve how energy is used for the benefit of their community and are focused on using energy in a sustainable, holistic way. 

The 'Intelligent Grid' research team in IERC is collaborating with Professor Michael Conlon from Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) to develop the 'Concurrent Energy and Flexibility Trading Model in a Grid-aware Local Energy Community' or 'EnerFlex' which will accelerate the development of the energy community-based local electricity markets and facilitate their integration with the wholesale electricity market. 

EnerFlex will also develop innovative business models for multi-actors, identify the barriers, and make recommendations for industry stakeholders, policymakers and public bodies for further deployment of the solutions.

2. Low-cost, Highly Efficient Charging Solutions for Electric Vehicles

Wide-bandgap (WBG) materials, such as silicon carbide (SiC), have opened up previously unimagined possibilities for the implementation of high-efficiency power conversion systems, but the adoption of these devices has been slow due to very high device production costs compared to silicon.

However, WBG devices are essential to meet the rising need for high power density and high-efficiency power electronics converters in medium and high voltage applications. For example, the new generation of SiC devices has accelerated the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), which will need significant reductions in charging times in the future.

The Tyndall SPS device research team will develop a world-leading device fabrication technology which has the potential to greatly reduce production costs and also offer a route for increased device integration which is not possible with existing SiC technologies.

The 'Intelligent Grid' team in IERC will be carrying out complimentary research leveraging from the device fabrication work to develop new circuit designs and reduced system form factors within the 'FET-EV: 3C-SiC FET Revolution For Highly Efficient and Extreme Fast EV Charging Solutions' project.

Professor Brian Norton, head of energy research in Tyndall, congratulated the collaborating teams within IERC, Tyndall, and TU Dublin for driving these timely, needed, innovative projects: “The solutions of these projects will surely contribute to the empowerment of energy citizens and communities towards the decarbonisation of energy systems, both electricity and transportation, in Ireland and globally.”

Kerrie Sheehan, head of research and technology, at SEAI said: “SEAI is dedicated to supporting research and innovation by funding projects such as these led by Tyndall National Institute through our research, development and demonstration funding programme. We look forward to how the outcomes of these innovative projects accelerate the energy revolution.”  

For more information on the innovations, please contact Dr Shafi Khadem (, who is the PI of both the 'EnerFlex' and 'FET-EV' projects.