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Smart Integration of Energy Storages in Local Multi Energy Systems for maximising the Share of Renewables in Europe’s Energy Mix

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SmILES (Smart Integration of Energy Storages in Local Multi Energy Systems for maximising the Share of Renewables in Europe’s Energy Mix)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2019-11-30

The SmILES project aims at merging knowledge about smart integration of storage in hybrid energy systems (heat and electricity) on national level for a reasonable instrumentation of storage and renewable energy technologies. Current energy systems are operated and controlled with a focus on only one form of energy, electricity or heat. Future highly integrated energy systems must make the best use of various energy storage technologies in collaboration. Currently, operation and control strategies for hybrid energy systems comprising thermal and electrical storages as well as the cross-linking technologies, which allow load shifts between thermal and electrical nets, exist only at a conceptual stage. Therefore, optimised design, operation and control strategies have to be worked out and applied to system configurations in order to proof the benefit of a hybrid energy system.
Motivated by these challenges the SmILES project addressed the following main objectives:
- Combining the modelling and simulation expertise of the research partners, AIT, DTU, EDF, KIT and VITO in a systematic way with the developed PreCISE approach and analysing the results
- Up-scaling of main findings from the local to a national level on the exemplary case of Belgium to gain a better understanding of the impact of our (local) results on the larger energy system and
- Setting up a Shared Data and Information Platform (SDIP) to ensure that our results and the wealth of data are disseminated and accessible to interested experts and future research.
Our long-term goal is to enable the joint research of different modelling approaches, thus build up knowledge and lessons learned on the integration of heterogeneous energy sources and their storage technologies, and to exchange these best practices for modelling and simulation on an open data platform.
Hereby, SmILES partners aim to strengthen the joint European research landscape. In the frame of our active membership in four Joint Programmes of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA), we are committed to exploit our results in the EERA network and furthermore European stakeholders, energy suppliers and industry.
In the first reporting period, the SmILES project focused on developing method for combining the modelling and simulation approaches. Achieving this was not straightforward. The partners’ approaches cover different types of local systems, including urban quarter, a rural village, office buildings, and a small industrial production site. Each of the partners has a different research focus, simulation approach or choice of toolchain. Furthermore, each of the partners introduces a different system configuration, each with a particular set of possibilities and limitations. Our idea is that there is much to learn from an exchange of experiences, and from a better coordination of these approaches, because local energy systems do not and will not operate in isolation from society or the larger energy network.
Within this context, we developed the PreCISE approach, which is a systematic way of sharing information related to simulation experiments and defining joint workflows for collaboration. This enabled the joint assessment and optimisation of energy systems, providing a hitherto unavailable generic handle to systematically unlock synergies between different simulation approaches. With the help of the PreCISE approach, so-called cross-simulations have been established in order to provide complementary results. The identification of a reliable method for cross-simulation enables us to disseminate reference simulation models to a wider research audience outside of the consortium.
The PreCISE approach, including all preparing forms for collaborative modeling, has been documented and illustrated on the Shared Data and Information Platform (SDIP). That is a web-based application and framework for providing information about methodological workflows, e.g. streamlining the collaborate modelling and analysis of complex energy systems performed by distributed modelling teams. Beside task descriptions, it contains downloadable templates, guidelines and online forms helping to perform the task, and for collecting results and accompanying metadata into structured or semi-structured information objects of different types.
Dependent on the type of data, interactive tools, as part of the user interface, will allow exploring data interactively. An integrated search area will provide easy access to all the data stored within the platform.
Both the PreCISE approach and the SDIP are seen as the SmILES` key exploitation results, have been presented on EERA workshops. Webinars were created for disseminating and explaining the PreCISE approach in detail. The SDIP will be maintained in the frame of the German Program Energy System Design
Currently, various modelling tools and methods to simulate multi-energy systems with storage are under development. As part of this, our research teams develop, compare and cross-test models and algorithms for the optimised design, operation and control of five local hybrid energy systems in Denmark, France, Germany and Austria. Transfers between energy carriers are expected to lead to a higher flexibility and a better management of the energy infrastructure as a whole, in particular to support further integration of intermittent renewable energies.
With the PreCISE approach, the SmILES partners developed a methodology, which enables sharing of information related to simulation experiments and the definition of joint workflows for collaboration. To demonstrate the feasibility and usability of the PreCISE approach, proof-of-concept studies were carried out, in which project partners, AIT, DTU, EDF, KIT, VITO/EnergyVille, team up working jointly on the same test case. These collaborations are referred to as cross-simulation.
Its main purpose is to facilitate the collaboration among experts using different toolchains and modelling paradigms. The intention behind the PreCISE approach is not to force the use of the same types of models for different toolchains or to identify the “best” model for a specific use case. Rather, it is assumed that the diversity of challenges and obstacles encountered in energy-related research must be met with an equal diversity and pluralism of modelling paradigms and toolchains. Within this context, the goal is to enable workflows that combine different toolchains in order to create added value through unlocking synergies.
The PreCISE approach helps researchers to save time by a) achieving a better understanding while working interdisciplinarily, b) better understanding while working with different approaches and c) fosters knowledge preservation and expert training.
The SDIP is an open source platform for integrating several tools needed for complex energy system modelling. It offers a fast entry into complex energy system modelling, access to a proven simulation collaboration method as well as sustainable data management for energy related data and results. Engineering and research groups which have to collaborate on creating and analysing larger scale energy system models will profit from the SDIP when they have to align their tasks along an agreed on methodology and need an online platform for exchange and management of common background specifications.