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Holistic Simulation Approach for Optimal Operation of Smart Integrated Energy Systems

In order to reach the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, to which a large part of the world’s community is committed, it is necessary to achieve a high degree of decarbonization across the energy sectors. In Germany, the changes to the Federal Climate Protection Act in August 2021 reaffirmed these efforts, made them more concrete, and set higher goals. The strategy for achieving these goals is the installation of renewable energy sources, consisting mainly of wind turbines and solar power plants in the electrical energy system. Such intermittent renewable sources are highly dependent on the weather conditions, mainly solar radiation and wind speed. Therefore, they cannot be operated like conventional fossil power plants, but require high degrees of flexibility while balancing generation and consumption within the energy system. Furthermore, these flexibilities depend upon new operational strategies and concepts, digitization and cooperation of the sector coupled energy system, e.g., making full use of the flexibility within production and consumption, named “prosumption”, in the coupled heat, gas and electric grids. In other words, a cyber-physical system for the sector coupled energy system is required to generate and make use of these flexibilities. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) connects the physical technologies to the control, which is executed in line with the energy management strategies in future cyber physical energy systems.

In the i³-project “CyEntEE”, such a cyber-physical energy system is modelled and simulated[1]. Additionally, energy markets are integrated into the system, thereby making it a Smart Integrated Energy System (SIES). In current research, there are a lot of different approaches trying to define such an SIES architecture. One promising approach is the Cellular Approach (CA) conducted by the German VDE. In the CA, the conventional energy system is split into cells of different levels. Every cell in the CA has its own cell management in the form of a cell manager that monitors and orchestrates the local generation and consumption. This decentral and hierarchical operation allows for the acquisition of the required flexibility to locally maintain the balance of load and operate resilience strategies in the case of failures. Since flexibility is mainly a product of the end-user, e.g., companies or households, which are flexible in the use of their appliances, a smart market system is needed to collaborate with the SIES. One of the commonly discussed methods for this purpose is the use of smart local markets on the basis of Transactive Control[2], in which the market mechanisms are coupled with the respective cell manager in order to influence the market and its price signals according to system objectives

Independent dynamic models for each component, the physical and digital system, operational management and market are suggested and combined in a newly developed co-simulation platform to create a holistic model of the integrated energy system. To verify the effectiveness of the operational concept, energy system scenarios are derived and evaluation criteria for the three key objectives resilience, sustainability and economic efficiency are suggested which can be employed to evaluate the future system operations. In an iterative process of consecutively simulating, evaluating and adapting the models accordingly, this project strives to optimize the operational concept for such a SIES.

Further information regarding the project can be found here.


[1] Abrishambaf, Omid; Lezama, Fernando; Faria, Pedro; Vale, Zita (2019): Towards transactive energy systems. An analysis on current trends. In: Energy Strategy Reviews 26.

[2] Hoth, Kai; Steffen, Tom; Wiegel, Béla; Youssfi, Amine; Babazadeh, Davood; Venzke, Marcus; Becker, Christian; Fischer, Kathrin; Turau, Volker (2021): Holistic Simulation Approach for Optimal Operation of Smart Integrated Energy Systems under Consideration of Resilience, Economics and Sustainability. In: Infrastructures 6 (11), S. 150. DOI: 10.3390/infrastructures6110150.