Integrating night storage into virtual power plants of supply companies

From night storage to energy buffer

The situation

With the incredible growth in the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources, the energy industry is now facing a new challenge: it needs to find solutions to deal with the great fluctuation in grid utilisation and make good use of load peaks. Against this backdrop, a large municipal energy supply company (ESC) sought to tap into the potential of thermal storage heating for buffering energy.

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The challenge

The company was looking for a solution for integrating its customers’ thermal storage heating into its virtual power plant and for taking advantage of smart technology in the control of thermal storage units.

The solution

Before we could implement a software solution, it was necessary to do extensive preliminary work, including the creation of forecasts for the heat requirements of ESC customers in particular. Then we developed a model to calculate the possibilities for load shifting of energy stored in the form of heat.
Finally, we created a platform for the ESC that receives measured values directly from the server of the heating systems every 15 minutes. This data is converted into a readable format and made available to an optimisation model. The optimisation model develops an optimal schedule within a comfort range specified by the end consumer, taking into account the measured data of the heating systems as well as other fundamental parameters and market and weather forecast data. Once the schedule is ready, the Seven2one platform imports it back into the heating system server. In addition, the storage systems can be integrated into a virtual power plant together with other energy-generating plants. The municipal utilities can then combine residential control units into charging groups as desired and provide schedules that differ depending on the optimisation profile (according to parameters such as user, technology, neighbourhood, etc.).

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The benefits

  • Attracting and retaining thermal storage furnace users as customers
  • A high degree of usage comfort
  • Utilisation of existing thermal storage potential

Project facts

Client:

A municipal supply and service company

Industry:

The energy industry

Project duration:

9 months

Project results

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Marketing of load surpluses

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Encrypted data transmission

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Integration into virtual power plants