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Flexibility Activated Zero Energy Districts

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - REnnovates (Flexibility Activated Zero Energy Districts)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2018-08-31

Building and energy infrastructures are evolving quickly in face of demographic, economic and environmental changes. Existing building stock has poor energy performance and provides inadequate living conditions. Further, as more decentralized, intermittent energy generators are added to a system higher demands are put on electricity supply. The REnnovates consortium, composed of 9 partners from the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Poland, Germany and Finland, aims to deliver a holistic approach to meet this challenge. REnnovates guarantees a deep renovation approach equipping residential buildings with a made-to-measure prefabricated new envelope based on state-of-the-art insulation materials and installation techniques that reduces the energy demand. This is combined with full electrification of the energy demand for which a standardized pre-fabricated energy module is developed and installed that is controlled through state-or-the-art smart ICT. It is the objective to increase energy efficiency on a building level, but also to reduce the costs for the distribution system operator (DSO) and to reduce the costs of the renovation through the value created with the additional services. REnnovates has the following objectives: 1: Scaling up demonstration of the REnnovates holistic systemic approach; 2: Demonstration of the replicability of the Energy Module; 3: Large-scale demonstration of interoperable standards-based ICT and control solutions that mitigate the grid impact of zero-energy districts; 4: Demonstration of the economic replication potential also in other climate zones; 5: Further reducing the renovation cost of the envelope while increasing its replication potential by BIM enrichment.
The REnnovates concept was demonstrated in 3 countries: the Netherlands saw the implementation of full smart grids including a district battery system and demand-side response activation in various neighborhoods. The business model and concepts were replicated in Spain and Poland. The following results were achieved:
The ability to scale up the holistic deep renovation approach was successfully demonstrated. In the Netherlands, 249 houses were renovated in four different districts governed by two different DSO’s. It was demonstrated that the total energy consumption was reduced by 60% from over 15 MWh/year to about 6 MWh/year. By adding PV approximately 7 MWh of energy is generated annually, resulting in zero emission buildings generally exceeding net zero energy. In Spain and Poland, it is proven that the key concepts of REnnovates can be deployed in other markets, with some adaptations in the market approach and technological design.
The replicability and performance of the Energy Module was successfully demonstrated. The Energy Module contains all installations to provide comfort, sustainable energy and connectivity. The module is pre-fabricated and installed on-site. The modules were deployed in all 249 houses in the Netherlands and in the demonstrator in Spain. The concept will be implemented in Belgium to further demonstrate replication potential as part of a beach-head project.
Large-scale demonstration of interoperable standards-based ICT and control solutions that mitigate the grid impact of zero-energy districts was successful in Spain and Belgium. All 249 sites of the Dutch demonstrator are available for flexibility trading and/or local energy related optimizations. The demo site was supported by 2 DSOs each with an active ‘Universal Smart Energy Framework (USEF) connection for trading flexibility. Exploitation of flexibility enables the reduction of grid congestion and supports local optimization. For flexibility, domestic hot water buffers and heat pumps were deployed. The resulting exploitable flexibility is in the order of magnitude of 1 kW and 1kWh/house per day. The Energy Savings software saves 15-20% of energy spent on domestic hot water, reducing grid impact by 200kWh per house per year. With the solar self-consumption software, 250kWh more of the domestic hot water electricity consumption was covered instantaneously by the local solar production compared to having no smart control. Extra flexibility sources were introduced in the 39 houses in the form of 3 home batteries of 7,68 kWh and a district battery of 200kWh making the maximum exploitable flexibility in this district in the order of 270 kWh.
The economic replication potential also in other climate zones was successfully demonstrated. The project has successfully demonstrated that implementation of REnnovates leads to a considerable energy saving potential (€1600). This supports the business case, however this alone is insufficient. Extension of building lifetime, long term performance guarantees and improvement of living conditions also have to be considered. It is shown that implementation of smart control supports the business case (reducing user- costs up to 50%) and ensures a business case with less sensitivity to changes anticipated in the energy policies. Incorporation of district level control to prevent congestion has a limited impact on the overall business case. However, reduction of the socialized costs associated with infrastructural reinforcements supports the energy transition and supports the sustainability of the REnnovates concept while upscaling.
BIM enrichment to further reduce building renovation cost while increasing its replication potential was successfully demonstrated. BIM coupling to design tools ensures that performance risks can be reduced whilst design can be optimized not only for constructor, but also for the DSO since the grid impact of a flexibility enabled district can be evaluated a-priori. The direct cost reduction is limited to a MM per project but risk reduction can be significant. Further, the BIM enriched business model tool can be used to demonstrate value to stakeholders and expand the market for smart neighborhoods.
In conclusion, the REnnovates approach leads to increased comfort and living conditions of housing stock whilst extending building lifetime and reducing cost. Houses become net-zero-energy. Smart control creates a more robust business case and saves energy (>10%) and can increase local self-consumption (>10%).
REnnovates offers comfortable sustainable built environments, at lower costs for largescale implementation creating value for all stakeholders: investors, service providers and energy infrastructure. The integration of renovated houses in smart neighborhoods is essential to support large scale renovation of the existing building stock towards net-zero-energy while ensuring a cost effective and robust energy infrastructure. The novel concept is for existing homes that have poor energy performance with the following: i) energy saving measures and local energy generation to create a commercially feasible net-zero-energy renovation; ii) use of the energy savings and lifetime extension to support the investment; iii) long term performance guarantee and a lifecycle approach ensure performance and savings, iv) industrialized pre-fabricated systems and modules to reduce costs, increase quality and decrease implementation time; v) implements smart energy standards to facilitate easier scale-up; vi) applies smart control to reduce energy consumption and create a future proof solution and vii) mitigates the impact on the energy infrastructure.