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SmArt BI-directional multi eNergy gAteway

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - SABINA (SmArt BI-directional multi eNergy gAteway)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2020-10-31

SABINA is an EU funded H2020 research and innovation project that aims to develop new technology along with financial models that will connect, control and actively manage thermal and electric networks using generation and storage assets in order to exploit synergies between electrical requirements and the thermal inertia of buildings, whilst allowing aggregators to provide flexibility and balancing services to the grid. SABINA aimed to maximise the usage of variable renewable energy sources by converting excess electrical energy to heat or cold and storing it using the thermal inertia of buildings. Provision for aggregation at district level were provided to maximise the effect of SABINA.
The main objectives of the SABINA project have been translated into planned work described in a number of Work packages (WP).
WP1: System specifications and requirements: The objective of the first task was to carry out a desk top review and market survey to understand existing companies offering similar technologies, research projects exploring similar areas and current incentives that could contribute to the commercialisation of SABINA. The second task derived the technical specification of the SABINA system and served to provide all partners with clear guidelines regarding what needs to be provided by individual systems and algorithms to be developed in subsequent work packages. The third task focused on establishing the ground for the successful testing and validation of the system both at laboratory and test site environments.
WP2: Building thermal inertia identification: The objective of the first task was to prepare a common simulation environment for all partners based on standard tools. The second task involved development and improvement of an automatic building thermal identification using synthetic data from the library of buildings established in the first task (the methodology was tested with real data once available). The third task involved model integration to customise the building simulation model so that it fits the test site description. The final task of WP2 involved validation of developed models using the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP).
WP3: Management algorithms development. The first task focussed on development of algorithms that are able to forecast the building electric and thermal consumption including electric vehicle charging consumption. The second task involved development of a supervisory layer for optimal control of photovoltaic inverters to guarantee power quality at all times. The third task is working towards development of a management algorithm that will find the optimal operating point of the electric to heat/cold appliances (for instance heat pump or chiller) as well as the set-point of the thermal sub-station. The final task focused on development of an aggregator tool that would serve as the core for the SABINA project.
WP4: Hardware adaptation and system integration: All tasks are finished and relate to development and integration of the bi-directional gateway at the building level, implementation of the aggregator tool, remote terminal unit adaptation and systems integration.
WP5: Simulation and lab testing. WP5 has progressed quite well as a result of the satisfactory collaboration and high engagement of the partners involved and considering the high complexity of the task. The activities completed within WP5 all the planned ones, related to the implementation and testing of the SABINA solution at IREC laboratories test site.
WP6: System validation at the test site: The final test sites were equipped for hosting SABINA technology. SABINA was tested and evaluated under real conditions, the results for further improvements were analysed and the replicability of the technology in future applications was described by creating a system’s roadmap.
A set of critical factors are required to enable deployment of any new technology focussed on energy and carbon reduction in any market. While any technology may be proven in test environments deployment in real word settings can often be subject to other outside influences that should be reviewed prior to attempting deployment.
Policies already exist in a number of member states that supports the introduction of innovative new technologies to deliver on a common EU carbon target. The interplay between the market, technology development and policymaking align itself well to the wider deployment of SABINA either as a technology supporting market and policy ambition or as a seed for transformative change in countries seeking to scale up ambition in carbon reduction.

As part of our work on SABINA we assessed which markets in EU member states were already undertaking a reasonable level of demand side response at a national strategic level. Based on IEA data our findings demonstrate that a large proportion of the EU would be viable for SABINA deployment on the basis that flexibility and aggregation markets either already exist or are ramping up activity.
Key findings
• EU member states where flexibility, demand side response and aggregation markets are already or near established are key targets for deployment of SABINA
• Other member states without mature activities in these areas may be quick to develop them in the near future and could be seed markets for SABINA
• Markets where little to no activity should be monitored to ensure SABINA plays a role in development in the near future

As the SABINA system relies on critical and regular data streams and the ability for swift response to them much of the successful deployment of the system will be dependent on the maturity of smart grids within any EU member state.
• In countries where smart grid transition is already occurring SABINA can play a role in making the link between smarter buildings and smart grids
• Where decentralised networks are becoming the new normal SABINA’s potential to support more effective grid balancing and enable greater penetration of renewables in national energy strategies is mutually reinforcing
• There may be some counties where smart grids are being developed, but the market for supporting services is not yet mature
• Significant activity in these areas across all member states will be driven by climate and energy policy from the EU

The viability of SABINA is dependent on a number of key Net Zero transitions within any host member state. The challenge to enable the switch over from gas to electricity for our heating brings a number of critical risks in supply and demand of energy, placing greater pressure on our national energy infrastructure and requiring low and zero carbon generation to provide demand in a way that reduces our contribution to climate change.
In order to provide the additional demand required to support the electrification of heating and vehicles in a sustainable way significantly higher levels of renewable deployment is needed.
Coupled with an increase in overall demand it will be important to develop technologies that can support swift demand side response, much greater flexibility in smart energy systems and digitalisation of operational control – SABINA can play a leading role in supporting this