Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SENSIBLE Report Summary

Project ID: 645963
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SENSIBLE (Storage-Enabled Sustainable Energy for Buildings and Communities)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Energy storage is expected to play an increasingly important role in the evolution of our energy system, particularly to accommodate increasing penetration of intermittent renewable energy resources and to improve electrical power system performance. Therefore, the overall objective of the project SENSIBLE is to develop, demonstrate and evaluate a storage-enabled sustainable energy supply for buildings and communities.

The European Union has set ambitious goals for becoming a low-carbon economy and in doing so making the energy supply sustainable, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and limiting climate change (among others, GHG reduction by 40% by 2030 in comparison with 1990). The goals can only be achieved if:
(a) the share of electricity as an end-use energy is increased at the expense of other forms of energy (e.g. by replacing gas-fired domestic heating by electrically driven heat pumps);
(b) an increasing portion of electric power is produced by inverter-driven, fluctuating, renewable energy resources;
(c) the electric power demand is matched to the available power supply through load shifting, i.e. the use of storage technology; and
(d) if problems increasingly seen in public power networks (such as harmonics, phase imbalance, voltage fluctuations, power flow reversal and fast power flow changes) are compensated for, which is preferably done by local, inverter-driven storage technologies.

A wide range of partners is working together to demonstrate that the EU 2030 targets can be achieved on a local level by the intelligent integration of existing small-scale storage technologies into the local power distribution grid as well as into houses and commercial or industrial buildings. The SENSIBLE project will demonstrate the intelligent integration of a wide range of available small-scale storage technologies comprising electro-chemical storage devices (batteries), electro-mechanical storage devic-es (flywheel storage systems), and thermal storage devices (heat storage devices); heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems which, together with the building structure, form a thermal storage device.

In order to use the full potential of storage technology for renewable integration one has to seamlessly integrate primary storage technology, power electronics, control, communication and information technology with the right design of energy markets and last but not least business models. Therefore, the project SENSIBLE:
• develops and demonstrates power electronic technologies that enable the full set of storage functions,
• develops measures and methods for safe storage integration into buildings and power networks,
• develops and demonstrates advanced tools based on information and communication technology for the control and management of distribution networks,
• develops and demonstrates energy management in buildings and local communities,
• develops and demonstrates locally-focused energy market services operated on a suitable market platform,
• defines specifications enabling new distributed energy storage products, markets and businesses, and
• conducts life cycle analyses and assesses the socio-economic impact of small-scale storage integrated in buildings as well as communities and distribution networks.

The three demonstration sites for the SENSIBLE project have been chosen to fit together and complement each other:
• Évora (Portugal) – demonstrating energy storage and energy management applications, both applied to grid and behind-the-meter applications, thus creating value for distribution system operator and enabling for end user market participation. This demonstrator has to deal with „weak” and potentially unreliable powergrids in a rural or semi-rural environment.
• Nottingham (UK) – demonstrating storage integrated in buildings and communities, combining local renewable generation and energy-market participation. The demonstrator is positioned in an urban area with strong power grid, i.e. with no or little restrictions from the grid.
• Nuremberg (Germany) – demonstrating integration of electrical and thermal storage together with heat pumps, combined heat and power plants and different energy vectors (gas, electric power and heat). The integration is done by means of a building energy management system that minimises the building’s energy procurement costs.

Évora is a Portuguese Municipality located in the Alto Alentejo Region, around 130km from Lisbon, with a population of almost 60,000 inhabitants in an area of 1307.08 km2. Évora was also chosen as the first EDP smart city in the InovGrid project, a project led by EDP Distribuição, the main Portuguese Distribution System Operator, aiming at promoting a better network management and energy efficiency. The test bed itself is located in Valverde, a small rural village in the countryside of Évora, with around 450 inhabitants and 238 clients connected to the Low Voltage (LV) grid.

The Nottingham demonstrator combines the laboratory environment of the FlexElec laboratory at the University of Nottingham and the Meadows, a community just outside Nottingham city centre. The FlexElec laboratory, located within the Energy Technologies Building at the University of Nottingham provides world leading experimental facility to support research into future electricity distribution system (Smart Grids). The Meadows is a community centrally located on the south side of Nottingham city centre, in close proximity to both the railway station and to the River Trent. It was originally a large area of wetland that was drained and gradually developed for a variety of uses, incorporating terraced housing, public houses, factories, warehouses and public buildings such as libraries and swimming baths. The Meadows is a mostly residential community. There is a tight community structure in the Meadows and a high level of community cohesion. Summing up Meadows is an ideal envi-ronment to demonstrate the potential of small-scale storage in a smart community.

The Nuremberg demonstrator mainly comprises two locations, namely Siemens campus in Erlangen and Technische Hochschule Nuernberg (THN) in Nuremberg. The Siemens smart building lab is located in Erlangen, whereas THN has a system generation lab and air handling unit lab. The labs are connected together virtually using a Virtual Private Network tunnel. The generator system lab consists of a heat pump and a combined heat and power unit, which enables heat generation and micro-generation for buildings. The air handling unit lab consists of a climate chamber and an air handling unit. A boiler and a chiller operate within the air handling unit that connects to the two zone climate chamber. The temperature ratios are 30-40°C and humidity of 20-70%, providing a wide ratio of air conditioning conditions. In the smart building lab the automation and building management system is operated. This demonstrator shows the potential of a holistic energy management looking at electric supply and heat demand.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The first important achievement during the first reporting period is the implementation of a functioning project setup across all beneficiaries, work packages and tasks. The difficult process of defining the main use cases, identifying the resulting requirements and setting up the system architecture for each of the three demonstrators has been successfully finalized. Besides, the system architecture and the implementation plan (using the identified requirements) for the demonstrators have been the main achievements. The project received a first external feedback while organizing and hosting the workshop “Small scale storage – from technology to stakeholder engagement”, which was very positive and confirmed the relevance of the work done so far.

One of the main objectives of this WP1 was the definition of the use cases (UC) in the two domains of the project, namely the Distribution Grid and the Customer Services. Besides, different KPI´s were defined to validate the results of the project. The definition of the KPI’s also allowed a deep analysis of the different storage technologies as well as the analysis of ICT (information and communication technology) tools in order to enable large scale integration of local and small-scale storage to maximize the penetration of renewable energy sources (RES) as distributed energy resources (DER). The ICT architectures of the three SENSIBLE demonstrators in Évora, Nottingham and Nuremberg as well as the details of each integrated component were defined.
Due to the strong interdependence, regular communication between WP1, WP2 and WP3 was crucial and fruitful. Moreover, great effort was dedicated to the project’s further progress and its expected results. All tasks within WP1 were carried out as well as all deliverables were composed according to plan.

This work package addresses energy conversion systems for electro-chemical, thermal and mechanical storage devices with advanced functionalities for integration to electrical grid.
Period 1 has been successfully completed with a large number of results related to power electronics topologies, safety issues, technologies, advanced functionalities, modelling and simulations of electro-chemical and mechanical energy storage systems.
Specifically, a detailed study about storage technologies as well as potential applications with special emphasis on those which will be implemented according to the defined use cases in Nottingham (UK), Évora (Portugal) and Nuremberg (Germany) demonstrators have been performed.
Furthermore, the requirements and functionalities for storage devices with power electronic interfaces to provide support to the grid have been identified and significantly developed.
On the other hand, a set of innovative alternatives of power converter systems for energy storage have been designed and currently assembled. Also, remote monitoring system has already been designed according to requirements from the demonstrators.
Finally, a range of modelling, simulation and literature based studies have been carried out in order to evaluate various aspects of safety and protection when energy storage systems are implemented in a real scenario addressing both electro-chemical and mechanical storages.
All tasks within WP2 has been carried out according to the initially defined work plan for period 1 and satisfied all expectations.

In WP3 the energy management systems of the three demonstrators in Évora, Nottingham, and Nu-remberg which integrate and intelligently operate multi-modal energy storage components in buildings, collections of buildings, communities, and active distribution grids are being developed.
In this reporting period (M01-M18) the interfaces of the different energy management systems to the central ICT platform, the central services, and the devices to be controlled have been assessed and defined. A first prototype of the common real-time communication platform, used for all energy management systems of the three demonstrators, has been released and connection tests are ongoing.
For controlling collections of buildings and communities, an in-house infrastructure for residential buildings has been defined and is under development to control batteries, thermal storages/heaters, and PV. The central data manager collects and makes use of the data gathered from the residential build-ings.
A first version of the Energy Management System for commercial buildings has been installed in the lab, controlling batteries, PV, and a CHP unit. Electrical and thermal base loads are considered. The final version will additionally control HAVs, resistive heaters, thermal storages, and heat pumps. It makes use of several model-based forecasts. Models for several electrical and electro-thermal devices have been developed and identified. Furthermore, forecasting algorithms for the electrical and thermal base load as well as for the PV (photovoltaic) generation have been presented.
To enable the integration and controlling of storages in the active distribution grid, a multi-temporal OPF (optimum power flow) tool has been provided, optimizing the operation of a micro-grid. In addition, a tool for optimal placement of DER resources has been developed.
All demonstrators are able to participate in energy markets. The market integration service will allow execution of market based actions through energy suppliers, DSOs, aggregators, ESCOs. The interfaces and the information exchange of the different Energy Management Systems have been defined. The real-time-integration platform supports the integration of new energy management algorithms with the energy market procedures. All in all, the activities within WP3 were carried out according to plan in this first reporting period.

In WP4 laboratorial and full scale/real environment demonstration of energy management, storage solutions and power control devices will take place. Formally WP4 started in December 2015. However, there have been several previous activities in the first months of 2015 due to a high interdependence of WP4 with WP2 and WP3 (with the focus on the developments within these WPs).
WP4 started with the laboratory preparations in T4.1 (Lab validation of key systems and components) for all three demonstrator sites: Évora, Nottingham and Nuremberg. These activities are related to facilities preparation and test protocols development.
Since the Nuremberg demonstrator is in a laboratory environment (Erlangen + THN) some activities within T4.1 (Lab validation of key systems and components) are similar to the activities within T4.4 (Nuremberg demonstrator). In Labelec (Évora demo) some of the equipment is already on site (smart grid infrastructure already being replaced by EDP) and test protocols are ongoing. Demonstrator tasks (T4.2, T4.3 and T4.4) are ongoing and demonstrator sites are completely specified.
In Nottingham, the activities were so far focused on the lab environment. The concept definition is completed and ready for further implementation. As the specification of the demonstrator use cases (tools) are making progress, T4.5 (Emulation of energy market participation) is also commencing regarding the integration in energy markets. T4.6 (Synthesis of demonstration work) has not formally started yet.

WP5 concentrates on developing new energy storage enabled business models and showcasing those in three demonstration environments. The results from demonstrations will be utilized to analyse the life-cycle and socio-economic impacts of the business models and furthermore conduct a cost-benefit analysis from a distribution grid planning perspective. At the end, the work package will propose recommendations on policy and regulatory framework to utilize storage resources more efficiently.
Until M18, the work has been focused on defining a business model framework for the demonstrations and determining a baseline for socio-economic studies. Regarding life-cycle and cost-benefit analyses the associated simulation tools have been specified in order to utilize them for the business model analysis. Main achievements and activities for each task are the following:
• T5.1 Business model framework defined and initial business environment studies conducted. The business models will be utilized by the demonstrations and by the tasks 5.2 – 5.5.
• T5.2 Preparation of INESC’s simulation tool and specific case studies to conduct a life-cycle impact analysis for distribution grid environments.
• T5.3 Socio-economic studies (questionnaires and surveys) conducted in Nottingham and Évora to determine the willingness and attitudes of the people towards the planned energy management services.
• T5.4 Analysis of possible new energy market structures to support the evolving business models.
• T5.5 Formulation of a multi-criteria decision making tool for the cost-benefit analysis in distribution grids.
In summary, it can be stated that all activities within WP5 were carried out according to schedule in this first reporting period.

Work package 6 deals with achieving impact from the SENSIBLE project through dissemination activities, through commercial (and other) exploitation by project partners and by influencing policy and standards/regulations. A Dissemination Masterplan has been published and during the first 18 months of this project, the various partners of SENSIBLE have undertaken many varied activities to disseminate the results and findings from the initial planning and design work associated with the three demonstrators. These include activities at community level (demonstrator participants), academic conferences and industrial workshops. Each partner is currently assessing options for exploitation – whether it is enhanced academic know-how or the roll-out of more competitive products / tools / services – and a formal Exploitation Plan will be prepared in coming months. Work on Standardization and Regulatory Issues is at an early stage as the consortium develop members knowledge and understanding of both the technical challenges of the equipment and systems to be deployed, as well as gathering information describing the broad range of regulations (influenced by markets and political policy) and standards (for technology manufacture and operation) associated with the range of equipment and the various countries of the EU that the project is relevant to.
It should be noted that not all of these activities will be discussed publicly due to the commercial confidentiality of the subject matter.

The project has been initialized, i.e. the contractual and legal framework, the management and communication processes including tooling and documentation have been set up. The project kick-off meeting, two general assembly meetings and two steering committee and work package leader Jour Fixes have been performed including the pre- and post-processing. The first important achievement is the implementation of a functioning project setup across all beneficiaries, work packages and tasks. The difficult process of defining the system architecture for each of the three demonstrators has been guided to a successful finalization.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

a) Electrical and thermal storages in buildings

• Development and demonstration of a set of tools that together will be able to implement the Évora demonstrator use case 2. In this use case the Évora client’s assets (e.g. smart meters, water heaters, home energy management systems, photovoltaics / PV and residential energy storage system) will be boosted to the next generation of energy management. This advanced management strategies can leverage the benefits beyond the increase of a client’s self-consumption. One believes that if an Energy Service Provider can aggregately manage the energy and flexibility for a set of clients in a market framework, improvements can be achieved when comparing each client’s individual management due to the fact that scale effects can be used to minimize the energy market unbalance, to reduce system costs and to give distribution system operators (DSO) support to the grid management. In case of the Évora demonstrator, each SENSIBLE client will be equipped with the above mentioned residential assets and its integrated management will allow a quantification of these benefits.
• Development of energy management applications for the Meadows district – Nottingham demonstrator. It will support the Nottingham use cases regarding the deployment of PV, as well as new energy management capabilities for clients, which will contribute to energy price reduction increasing social welfare.
• Concept and development of a model-based Multimodal Building Energy Management System for commercial buildings that is able to
1.) operate the building integrated electrical/thermal storages and other components (PV, heater, heating ventilation and air condition, combined heat and power plant and heat pump) in a most energy efficient way
2.) participate on Day-Ahead and Balancing Power Markets by doing a forecast of the energy load profile at the point of common coupling and stick to that forecast, by using the build-ing integrated flexibility (of the components listed above), in order to minimize energy pro-curement costs
3.) The Building Energy Management System is an extension to a standard Building Automa-tion System, which allows a simple configuration and integration
• Development of special parameterizable “automation” models for all components that
1.) Have the required accuracy for the Energy Management System
2.) Can be used to solve the optimization problems suitable for controlling the components
3.) Are validated by using available components in the lab
• Development of a communication and control infrastructure for residential buildings
1.) Controlling of PV, thermal storages/resistive heater and electrical batteries
• Development of probabilistic forecasting algorithms that can be used for Energy Management to improve forecasting accuracy for electric and thermal base-loads, PV production and wind power

b) Operation of Active Distribution Grids with Local Storage Devices

• Development of several applications to enable MG operation and increasing grid reliability and flexibility as a response to high distributed renewable energy sources penetration at LV level. This developments came from advanced tools developed by INESC to manage this amount of distributed energy resources.
• Évora demonstrator will be provided with necessary equipment to enable islanding operation in case of MV grid failure or other events like planned grid interventions :
‒ Grid Automation
‒ Circuit breakers and LV (low voltage) switchgears
‒ Secondary substation
‒ Grid forming and grid tied energy storage systems
‒ Smart homes with:
- photovoltaic plants
- home energy management systems (HEMS)
- Smart meters
- Residential batteries
- Water heaters
• Whenever grid is in normal operation (main grid connection) LV storage will be explored in order to improve voltage profiles or minimize technical losses.
• Moreover a MV (medium voltage) storage system will be part of the Évora demonstrator providing a backup service to a MV client as well as its remaining capacity will be explored for grid operation purposes.
• Advanced tools will be developed to manage these resources as stated in Évora related use cases [reference to D1.3].

c) Power Quality Issues in Storage Devices

• Development of Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) consisting of
‒ Distribution management system which allows coordinated operation of distribution grids
- Includes the main human interfaces for network operators; Basic analysis and monitoring algorithms
- New developments in modeling of MV grid
‒ Real Time Network Simulator which allows real-time dynamic simulation of the distribution network
- Used for training of network human operators
- Functional design of required new components ready
‒ Operation Analytics
- Multi-temporal power flow algorithm for optimizing micro-grid operation in LV and MV networks defined and implemented
- Management of flexible loads as an additional resource to improve the efficiency of LV networks.
- Power flow equations were adapted in order to represent the network as a three-phase four wire system where single-phase loads can be connected unevenly by the three-phases of the system
- Framework for controlling the MV storage connected to the MV network implemented
‒ Planning Analytics incorporates the tools developed for planning of distribution networks considering the integration of storage
- New multi-temporal power flow algorithm for optimal placement of DER implemented
‒ Real Time Analytics Platform provides an advanced computational layer for hosting real time network applications
- General VoltVAr (Volt-Ampere Reactance) Control algorithm already implemented allowing voltage control under emergency operating conditions and normal operating conditions

d) Distribution Grid Planning with Local Storage Devices
• Deployment of a tool to improve the optimal location of energy storage devices in Évora in order to reduce its capacity and respective cost.
• Development of a tool which will leverage storage potential as a grid planning asset.

e) Demand-side Management (DSM)
• In Évora demonstrator DSM capabilities will lay on Inovgrid solution, where smart meters (SM) can receive such signals from distribution tranformer controller (DTC) and from upstream high level tools.
• This high level tools will apply the DSM technics in two frameworks:
• When necessary for grid operation purposes where clients are requested to reduce load in or-der to support DSO. Tool developments in UC9, UC2 and UC11 will implement such functionalities.
• By market participation purposes when an Energy Service Provider can use such functionality to optimize its client’s portfolio load profile. Such functionalities will be deployed within Sensible where the ESP will handle this residential flexibility through its HEMS infrastructure.
• Defined communication protocol between Energy Markets/Aggregator and Commercial Building Energy Management Systems
• Commercial Building Energy Management System is able to participate on Day-Ahead and Balancing Power Markets by doing a forecast of the energy load profile at the point of common coupling and stick to that forecast, by using the building integrated flexibility (of the components listed above), in order to minimize energy procurement costs
• Defined communication protocol between Energy Markets/Aggregator and Residential Building infrastructure
• Residential Building Energy Management System uses price based system to control PV, thermal storages/resistive heater and electrical batteries
• Residential Building Energy Management Systems can additionally be controlled by com-munity data manager which allows to operate algorithms and management strategies

f) Life Cycle Analysis of Storage Devices
• Study of combination of different battery technologies in order to improve life cycle.
• Study of trends of Energy Storage Technologies
• Study of Energy Storage Systems application and life cycle impact

g) Storage enabled energy markets
• Beyond state-of-the-art energy market structures like datahubs were studied and potential solutions were prepared to support more efficient utilization of storage resources on different market levels. The solutions introduce new market players like a Flexibility Operator and an Energy Community Service Provider that manage flexible resources in open liberalized mar-ket environments. More information provided under T5.4 progress description.
• Business model framework prepared that includes beyond-state-of-the-art business models in three different environments. The business models combine the use of flexibility on the energy markets with specific constraints arising from the energy communities, smart build-ings or active distribution grids.

h) Power converter grid interfaces

New innovative designs with the following features beyond state of the art
‒ Innovative wide band gap components
‒ High efficiency
‒ Compact design
‒ Forced air cooling
‒ Design to cost
‒ Same Duty Cycle for every power converters -> Different Control strategy
‒ Unbalanced load control
‒ Use of Silicon carbide (SiC) JFETS (junction gate field-effect transistor) for the power blocks > 50kHz Fsw
‒ Integrated Electromagnetic interference (EMI) filters – each power block will have local EMI filters at the power module level
‒ Integrated interleaving – part of the paralleling scheme requires an output filter, these will also allow interleaving of switching cells and increase effective switching frequency
‒ No DC-link capacitors;
‒ Potential to achieve high power density and long service life;
The new modulation allows to simultaneously control the power factor in the grid and the current in the battery pack.

i) Socio-economic Impact of Storage Enabled Communities

SENSIBLE aims to understand and account for social attitudes towards energy storage technologies, a significant gap in knowledge currently. The closest studies to this area are on user acceptance of, and attitudes toward, renewable energy technologies, but these do not include views on energy storage. Therefore, we have developed a questionnaire that allows us to gather evidence to bridge this gap.
The questionnaire also asks questions about the properties, the households’ composition, occupancy patterns and attitudes towards energy efficiency. The answers to these questions allowed us to build a better picture of energy demand and use in the demonstration sites. It has also given us a good understanding of where the public stands in relation to energy storage, and why they have joined the SENSIBLE project.
After the installation of the energy storage in the demonstration projects, a new set of questions will be derived from the first questionnaire to allow us to pinpoint any attitude and/or behaviour change caused by the project.
Potential impact of the study ranges from an opportunity to influence public acceptance of energy storage to the use of the evidence gathered to influence policies on community energy

Related information

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top