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Energy Toolkit – Integrated monitoring of infrastructure networks

Energy Toolkit - Service for communities, network operators and the housing industry

EnEff:Stadt - Forschung für die energieeffiziente Stadt

Overview of the goals and work packages of the “Energy Toolkit” project

© TU Braunschweig, elenia

Technology summary

Software type Planning, Analysis, Balancing/Optimising
Term of project 04/2013 bis 09/2016
Identification code Energy Toolkit
Key aspects

Project description

Project goal A: “Service for communities”

The first module of the Energy Toolkit develops a concept for auditing and assessing existing districts in terms of energy and for assessing the technical and economic aspects of forecast development scenarios. This is based on a library of current and future output and load profiles for decentralised energy generation and for heating and electricity consumption. In addition to this, there is a database for the costs of the transformation process with regard to the building stock to be considered. In addition to numerous building types and refurbishment standards, energy generation types will also be developed. Typologies are currently planned for photovoltaic systems (PV systems), combined heat and power (CHP) plants and heat pumps. The typological modular system is to be managed with the “energie navigator” software by Synavision GmbH. It already has sophisticated functions for importing, adjusting, linking and evaluating load data.

Project goal B: “Service for distribution network operators”

The distribution network operators’ digital database is often insufficient, in particular for the low-voltage range. Currently, information on the operating resources, cable lengths and the number of consumers of individual low-voltage grid regions is frequently only available from a geoinformation system which is maintained without a direct link to a grid calculation programme. That generally renders an assessment of planned grid expansion measures as part of a software-based grid calculation impossible. As a result, this work package will first enter, prepare and validate existing or provided grid data from operators for further use in grid calculation software. The grid calculations will be implemented based on synthetically generated and measured load and generation profiles for households, PV systems, heat pumps, mini CHP and electromobility to determine the demand for electricity of a selected grid region.

After defining suitable scenarios, appropriate measures will be developed to reduce the grid expansion required. An intelligent schedule management for heat pumps and mini CHPs combined with a thermal buffer storage system allows the peak electric load to be spread out over time when it occurs. In addition to this, different grid expansion concepts such as “classic cable expansion”, a controllable local grid transformer or a reactive power feed for voltage stability will be assessed under technical and economic aspects as part of grid calculation. Efficient grid expansion strategies will be derived on this basis. The combination of the households' thermal energy demand via the heat pump/mini CHP components is a new aspect.

Project goal C: “Service for building operators”

This work package will define and implement interfaces which permit a directly quantified interaction between simulation and available load and generator profiles for buildings. These influences can be classified from the strategic to the operative level in a control system model. As an example, the load profiles can be adapted for the electricity consumption via the introduction and market penetration of LED technology. The strategic level is supported by a reliability analysis of the system components. For example, at an operative level, the load and generator profiles can be influenced via functional application and parameterisation of building automation systems.

While current energy grids only have restricted communication interfaces between components, the switch to “active distribution networks” will make new demands on the communication topology, which must also be considered as part of this project. In particular, this involves bidirectional communication between generators and consumers.

Project goal D: “Construction of a demonstrator”

At the Institut für Hochspannungstechnik und Elektrische Energieanlagen (elenia) at TU Braunschweig, an “Active Distribution Network” test rig is currently being built. It will permit technical replication of a small low-voltage grid region. Besides the household load and line replication components, the laboratory equipment already has multiple direct current sources to replicate PV systems, an alternating current (AC) source to replicate a (controllable) local grid transformer and a mini CHP for combining thermal and electrical consumption profiles.