Deutsche Version  ACT
Overarching Themes
Central energy management system 9.1.2017

Durch das Zusammenspiel von Stromerzeugern und Verbrauchern können Lastverschiebungen genutzt werden, die sich wie ein virtueller Speicher auswirken.
© TU Dortmund

City as Storage

A central

management system in a City can make electricity producers and consumers work

together. The result is a virtual energy storage for the energy system.

Scientists develope a management system that bundles cogeneration systems, heat

pumps , night storage heaters, photovoltaic batteries and other equipment.

Project status Project completed
Type of storage Sensible heat storage, Sensible heat storage
Research objective Auxiliary equipment
Project duration December 2013 until November 2017

During the project, urban  storage and load shift potentials are exploited and utilized for power system applications. This is accomplished by bundling CHP-plants, heat pumps, night storage heating, PV-batteries and other flexible generation- and consumption-units into a central management system. The operation of these plants is optimized considering the unit's individual parameters, the condition of the local power network and the electricity market's incentives. Afterwards, the management system as well as the ICT infrastructure will be demonstrated within the model regions Herten and Wunsiedel and by this been made available for municipal utility companies.

The ongoing energy transition of the German power system causes an increasing demand for electric storage capacities. A large storage potential lies within a wide variety of currently unused units within the distribution grid. By merging those units into a virtual storage their storage potential can be made available and used for the balancing of RES fluctuation. A consortium of reseach facilities, industrial and municipal enterprises rises to this challenge. The consortium's members are the Bittner+Krull Softwaresysteme GmbH, the Robert Bosch GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institut UMSICHT, the Universität Dusiburg-Essen, the TU Dortmund, Herten Municipal Utilities and the SWW Wunsiedel GmbH. The project's duration adds up to four years.

Identifying storages

The project focuses on the development of existing but unused stoarge capabilities. Particularly in municipal enterprises, unused generation units and shiftable loads can be found. During this project, these pontentials are to be identified and to be merged into a single huge virtual storage by a central management system. Furthermore, simultaneous analyses of applicability and profitability of diverse plants and storage potentials are planned. Additionally,  proper business models and the transferability for other urban regions are investigated. Furthermore, an adepted ICT-solution will be developed to ensure a safe and reliable communication between the central management and the single units. This is how the city is to become an electric storage and helps to overcome the difficulties of the energy turnaround.

Contrary to common physical electric storages, a virtual storage comes with restrictions that derive from the primary supply-tasks of each individual plant. To adapt the virtual storage's performance to the energy-market's demands, a comprehensive optimization method is developed. This optimization is supposed to determine the ideal storage operation regarding each units' indicidual restrictions, the condition of the local power grid and the demands of the energy market. By this, the optimizer acts as the coodinator of the virtual storage.

Model regions as a nucleus

Subsequent to this project, the developed conecept is meant to remain within the model regions to serve as a nucleus for economic and ecologic future application. Possible business models for a following operation in the model regions are central and decentral energy management systems and contracting for local heat production. For this reason, the entire project is focused on a cost-efficient implementation of the developed conecepts.

Project status

The project is currently in its conceptual phase, in which the utilized units of the two model-regions will be identified. At the same time, the necessary coordination algorithms are designed for optimized operation of the virtual energy storage. Additionally, the necessary communication-infrastructure is adapted and tested. Following the conceptual phase, a demonstration-phase follows at the beginning of 2016. In this demonstration, the virtual energy storage will be realized and operated for one year within two model-regions.

Supported by: The Federal Government on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag


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Research funding

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