Exploiting Renewables by Request-Based Balancing of Energy Demand and Supply

The energy sector is in transition. First, the deregulation forces companies to restructure their value chain in order to increase their market efficiency. Second, to reduce carbon emissions, the use of renewable energy sources is enforced by national and international regulations. Third, smart metering is being widely adopted. The main goal of the MIRACLE project is to develop an ICT system that will enable the integration of a higher rate of distributed and renewable energy sources into the electricity grid by using flexibilities in energy demand and supply. The system will provide the means to issue so-called micro-requests indicating these power profile flexibilities (e.g., shifting in time or changing the energy amount) and to process the micro-request data in a hierarchical fashion. Consumers and producers own appliances and devices such as electric heat pumps, electric vehicles, washing machines, dishwashers, photovoltaic cells, urban wind turbines and micro combined heat and power units. The developed system enables customers and energy companies to balance energy demand and supply in near real-time and thus, allows the integration of more renewable energy sources whose availability cannot be influenced.

In general, the concept of balancing energy demand and supply in the presence of an increased use of renewable energy has already been investigated within past and current projects. For example, the Danish EDISON project aims to use batteries of electric vehicles as additional accumulators in order to smooth energy demand and supply peaks. As another example, the ADDRESS project uses a real-time demand approach, where energy supply from domestic and small commercial customers is requested by markets and/or other power system participants.

In contrast to these existing projects, in the MIRACLE project, a micro-request approach is used, where consumers and producers directly specify their demand and supply power profile flexibility in a fine-grained manner (household and SME level). The developed ICT system will be able to support dynamic, near real-time scheduling of micro-requests when the energy production of renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, is lower or higher than expected. According to the inherently given organizational hierarchy, the ICT system will be hierarchically distributed as well. [read more]

H. Berthold, M. Böhm, L. Dannecker, F.-J. Rumph, T. B. Pedersen, C. Nychtis, H. Frey, Z. Marinsek, B. Filipic, S. Tselepis: Exploiting renewables by request-based balancing of energy demand and supply; In: Proceedings of the 11th IAEE European Conference (IAEE 2010, August 25-28 2010, Vilnius, Lithuania), 2010.