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
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
Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers
20.07.2018 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore
Study suggests buried Internet infrastructure at risk as sea levels rise
18.07.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences