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Energy balancing and resilience solutions to unlock the flexibility and increase market options for distribution grid

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ebalance-plus (Energy balancing and resilience solutions to unlock the flexibility and increase market options for distribution grid)

Reporting period: 2021-08-01 to 2022-07-31

The project address four main challenges that were identified as the main barriers to deploy energy flexibility solutions in the energy market:

1. Integration of demand response in buildings with low energy flexibility. Implementing demand response services is not possible in buildings with no flexible loads. The only solution is to deploy self-generation, storage systems and solutions enabling the load shifting of energy consumption.
2. Accuracy of prediction models at building and grid level. Without an accurate prediction of energy profile is not possible to deploy real flexibility services or solutions to detect in advance congestion events.
3. The interoperability of different energy systems. Mostly, energy management systems are not interoperable as manufacturers protect their products and control system to create a strong relation with the customer. This fact makes difficult the development of generic solutions and standard approaches.
4. Market mechanisms to facilitate the role of the energy aggregator, balance responsible parties or ancillary services at customer level is still under discussion. One of the reasons is that energy flexibility is dynamic and any decision to manage it impact in next events, what can provoke undesired rebound effects in the grid energy profiles and thus, the grid control.
5. Social acceptance and user engagement in flexibility services is the last barrier that must be managed with social experts, since most of the customers are not really interested in energy issues or they do not understand energy concepts (literacy).

The ebalance-plus energy management platform aims at tackling these challenges, providing a single connectivity solution to integrate and manage building energy resources and distributed energy resources in the whole electric grid management. This platform is composed of energy management units distributed in a hierarchical manner and following the same (fractal-like) structure of the electric grid, which include a set of algorithms (services) to operate the flexibility in all the level, from the customer side until the DSO for grid management and congestion or balance responsible parties or aggregators to manage aggregated loads in real time. With the implementation of the system in different EU countries, the overall goal is to demonstrate that there is not any technical and social barrier anymore to create flexible energy markets and accelerate the low carbon transition of Europe.

The overall objectives of ebalance-plus are:
• Develop and deploy a replicable and scalable energy balancing platform
• Quantify and manage the available energy flexibility at building and LV grid level in real time
• Identify and describe barriers to innovation
• Demonstrate a rich variety of flexibility solutions
• Design an energy advisor and automation system to increase the grid resilience
Work performed and results until now are the following:

- Definition of use cases and technical requirements to implement flexible and resilience solutions in the project demo sites (Deliverable D1.2)
- Guidelines for new market mechanisms and tools for incentivizing electric energy flexibility (D1.1)
- Energy end-user behaviour characterization (D2.1)
- Methodology for user engagement in energy literacy and flexibility (D2.2)
- Design and development of flexibility, reliability and resilience solutions: smart storage, mobile app, power inverters, V2G charging points, prediction algorithms, grid management units CMU (IoT Gateway), LVGMU, DERMU, MVGMU (WP3)
- Energy flexibility estimators and management algorithms (T4.1 T4.2)
- Energy management platform architecture (T4.3)
- Communication architecture, security modules and adapters for integrating multi-protocol devices (WP5)
- Building characterization and evaluation methodology (D6.1)
- Pilots preparation (devices, deployment plans, procurement and tender processes…) (WP6)
- Workshops for IPR assessment (WP7)
- Obstacle to innovation and market analysis (WP7)
- Official web site, project identity, participation in online conference and workshop preparation (WP8)
- Participation in all the BRIDGE working groups
• Three-phase smart storage solutions has reduced the current market costs and extend the life-cycle (>10 years). The units will be able to apply advanced energy management strategies to optimise energy costs by itself. This solution is expected to be deployed in Spain and Italy, at residential and non-residential level.
• The distributed management units (grid level) will be based on an Edge setup, reducing the processing power, memory and operations of conventional market solutions. In addition, the cloud approach of ebalance-plus, and the fast DER response will be implemented as software as a service integrated in the corresponding management units (LVGMU; DERMU and MVGMU)
• Forecasting models. Fine-granular prediction often inaccurate at household and DER level. The current research leads to search the minimum aggregation scale allowing short-term energy load profile forecasting.
• The integration of V2G in DC networks is one of the main innovations in the project, together with high efficient power inverters based on silicon carbide, both for the V2G charging points and the integration with at grid level (i.e. grid tied converter).
• The ebalance-plus middleware is based on adapters that can integrate any communication protocol or existing database by means of API. This middleware is at the same time reinforce with the last security and privacy technology based on encrypted protocols (see D5.2).
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