Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The Flexible Grid Involves its Users

27.09.2016

The GreenCom project, funded in part by the European Commission and led on the technical side by Fraunhofer FIT, ended after 42 months, judged a resounding success. The project's main result is a Smart Energy Monitoring and Control system for load management of regional power grids. A test environment comprising 29 homes on the Danish island Fur integrates heat pumps, photovoltaic systems, batteries and smart-home installations.

The growing share of renewable energy sources leads to wider load fluctuations in power grids, necessitating new concepts and ways to avoid overload. What is needed is a flexible smart grid able to adjust to the fluctuations in the production and the consumption of electricity. Here, the GreenCom project focused on regional smart grid solutions that may help to avoid or minimize the need for grid expansion on the national level.


Load distribution in the Fur grid. Colors represent the load levels on power lines and transformer stations: Green stands for optimal load, Red for very high and Purple for critically high load.

© Fraunhofer FIT


Fur, the Danish island.

© www.greencom-project.eu

The aim was to detect potential instabilities in power grids by monitoring and forecasting how much power will be generated and consumed in the households attached to the grid. On the basis of forecasts and real-time data the GreenCom system can take load-balancing measures on a regional level, allowing for an improved balance of supply and demand.

The GreenCom project implemented a realistic test environment: On the Danish island Fur we worked with the local grid operator to install the “Smart Energy Monitoring and Control System” in 29 homes. The system can capture, aggregate and analyze, almost in real-time, data on devices, sensors, actuator and smart meters in individual homes. Heat pumps, photovoltaic systems and batteries are attached to the system, but also the smart-home installations built by Fraunhofer FIT.

“The smart energy management system developed in the GreenCom project is a control platform that will significantly improve energy management. It is particularly well suited to smart cities and similar local communities”, says Dr. Markus Eisenhauer, head of the User-Centered Computing department of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT.

The data analysis provides consumption data for different types of devices and locations as well as short-term forecasts (for up to 4 hours). This allows planning load-balancing measures. Large-scale power consumers in the homes are switched on at different times to avoid peak loads in the grid.

The forecasts and consumption data collected in the project were also used to analyze existing business models and develop new ones. The latter may feature a novel player in the market, which we call “aggregator”. Aggregators offer heating as a service: Homeowners allow their heat pumps to be controlled remotely and in exchange pay less for heating their homes. The contracts specify an acceptable temperate range. Thus the aggregator has some flexibility in reacting to fluctuating electricity supply and can sell this flexibility to the grid operator. This might be a model for controlling the electricity consumption of residential houses in the future.

The owners would only have to accept that the heat pump is under external control, without making any compromises in terms of heating comfort or usage pattern, as heat pumps do not have to work continuously and can be controlled remotely without any negative effects on the people living in the house. Here, reduced heating costs may be a convincing economic argument. If this model actually works on a broader scale remains to be seen in the coming years.

The GreenCom project, funded in part by the European Commission in the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, was coordinated by the Italian Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB). Besides Fraunhofer FIT, the project consortium included the Danish partners EnergiMidt A/S, Actua A/S, Tyndall National Institute and In-JeT ApS as well as Sensing & Control Systems (Spain) and University College Cork (Ireland).

For additional information please see: http://www.greencom-project.eu

Alex Deeg | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Further information:
http://www.fit.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Defining the backbone of future mobile internet access
21.07.2017 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik

nachricht Researchers create new technique for manipulating polarization of terahertz radiation
20.07.2017 | Brown University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>