During a new demo project at CITIES – Centre for IT-Intelligent Energy Systems – Danish Energy and DTU Compute will make a simple analysis of the impact of energy communities on the national grid.
Energy Communities is a new player on the energy market that can help incorporate larger amounts of sustained energy in the energy system.
Usually, energy communities include prosumers (consumers of energy that produce energy at certain times) that can have or have not the possibility to store energy, e.g. via batteries or thermal energy storage. Although these concepts can sound attractive to different stakeholders, it is not yet clear what the impact of ‘energy communities’ on different distribution systems is.
I a new demo project Danish Energy (a non-commercial lobby organisation for Danish energy companies) and DTU Compute will look at the impact of energy communities on three different grid layouts – urban, suburban and rural areas of Denmark – to estimate the consequences of different set-ups of energy communities on distribution grids, as well as to find the energy community set-ups that require further research.
– Of course, the idea of creating sustainability with local energy production sounds very good. But we are looking behind the hype. We are not focusing narrowly on the small energy community but look at the horizon to understand the whole role of these energy communities to see the impact on the whole national grid, Dominik Franjo Dominkovic, Postdoc at DTU Compute, says.
– We hope that the results of this project can serve as a solid foundation for designing future flexibility services and tariffs for energy communities, taking into account the different structures (shapes) of energy communities, Jan Rasmussen, Head of Department at Danish Energy, says.
Different kinds of energy communities The energy communities are not very good defined. And we only have seen very few of them so far.
It could be only two players exchanging their energy in real-time. It could be an energy community far from the owners who just sell the energy to the marked or is used in the houses there. It could be in the city or far out in the countryside.
Some of them could store energy, e.g. via batteries or thermal energy storage for later use by themselves when the energy production is low or for selling at the energy market. Sometimes they will need to get energy from the grid to secure enough energy for the consumers. You could also think of energy communities where the energy is not as green as the energy from the grid.
Therefore Danish Energy and DTU Compute will make a simple analysis of the impact of energy communities on three different grid layouts with a small, a medium and a large setup.
Some of the questions that will be tackled are how an energy community should be billed and how the distribution grid tariffs should be constructed. The demo project looks at both the economy and CO2-reduction.
– The idea is to see in which setup these communities benefit the distribution grid and in which setup they do not support the distribution grid at all or perhaps even having a critical impact for the grid. At the end we would like to see how changes in the energy prices will affect the situation, Dominik Franjo Dominkovic says.
Danish Energy is experiencing an increasing interest in energy communities covering housing association and parts of larger cities.
– It is of great importance, those energy communities are rewarded if supporting the grid, and are integrated into the electricity system in a non-discriminated way, together with all other electricity users. As energy communities can have many ‘shapes’, it is needed to create a foundation for designing future flexibility services and tariffs. We believe that our engagement in the CITIES project can provide this, Jan Rasmussen says.
There are not much ‘sales’ in district heating in the summer at the several hundred district heating companies in Denmark. A test with flexible and intelligent cooling at Grindsted electricity and heating (GEV) in the coming summer might help to change that a bit.
GEV has installed
an absorption chiller, which has to cool two meeting rooms. The pilot chiller
is a small unit of 2.5 kW. It cools the district heating water from 60 degrees to
13-18 degrees and passes it through a valve into a fan coil to cool the air.
heating industry should not really make money beyond for the cooperatives; the
project for GEV is more about a green profile and about saving operating costs.
Therefore, the partners in the project expect the project moves the power
consumption, saves energy for cooling and thus speaks into the green transition
because it does not use environmentally harmful coolant.
– These kinds of units could be very interesting especially for heating companies for selling cooling in the summertime when the demand for heating is low. If this project will be successful, the heating companies could find additional demands on heating and get a business case out of it. However, the solution is especially suitable for factories, big stores with refrigeration needs and server rooms, Dominik Franjo Dominkovic, Postdoc at DTU Compute and demo project leader at CITIES, says.
Green energy or operational optimization
The Danish company
Energy Cool, which usually sells small installations, where electricity is used
exclusively for cooling, develops the set-up. Here, a model has been further
developed to convert district heating to cooling water, which is used for
comfort cooling of the two meeting rooms, explains Henrik Thorsen, Director,
– Our normal source
of supply is electricity, but this project is extremely exciting, as we can
combine green district heating here, which in the summer period is surplus of
precisely during the period when most cooling is needed.
– This CITIES
project opens up completely new opportunities, to increase our storage
technology and utilize green energy, as well as increase flexibility, which can
thus contribute to the green transition. We hope with the project to be able to
help reduce energy consumption, ensure that green energy is used and utilize
surplus heat for cooling, he says.
Energy Cool works
with storage technologies to minimize power consumption and shift it across the
clock when the power is produced green or to optimize operation.
DTU has installed
sensors at GEV to collect data about temperatures from the meeting rooms and
the district heating water in the building, as well as power consumption.
Energy Cool will deliver the data from sensors via the firm’s own cloud
solution during the period from late spring to late summer.
– We will get data in real-time and based on that we will be able to test a simple model for demand response in relation to the energy and district heating prices on the energy market. According to that also to shut down the cooling production and increase it on other times based on the price, Dominik Franjo Dominkovic says.
The need for ventilation created the idea
The idea originally
came about because GEV should have installed ventilation in the company’s
office building. It would cost DKK 2 million to install a ventilation system.
In addition, the electricity bill would also be expensive.
– That’s why we
started looking at cheaper options with completely different and more ‘green’
glasses. By thinking carefully about and collaborating with the right people,
we have found that using cooled district heating water to cool down warm rooms
with, says Leif Jørgensen, operations and project manager at GEV.
Here the power
consumption will be low and GEV can use some water that the company already
has. Initially, the project runs on a small scale. The absorption chiller is
installed in GEV’s heating plant and cools the water and passes it on to the
ventilation units in the two meeting rooms, which were connected to the mains
on April 1.
– The whole scam
about this is also that in the long term we expect to be able to cool our
office building with quite a few cooling units, which cost almost nothing. We
also expect that even in the future we will be able to produce the small amount
of power that the system requires using solar cells. But that will be the next
step. Now we need it to run in the two meeting rooms, so the server room and
then likely the whole office building, says Leif Jørgensen.
He also mentions
the purely aesthetic. Radiators quickly look a little ugly. Here the cooling
unit in each room is the size of a radiator but smooth on the outside. Finally,
there is also energy in cooling down. Even though it is cold air, it can be
used for district heating, for example with a heat pump. However, it will
require some investment.
– You could easily
replace a number of radiators in our office house, and then have them produce
heat in the winter and cold in the summer, so that the same heat pipes supply
hot water during the heating season and cold water in the summer season. Such a
solution will be interesting. There is clearly a perspective in trying
something. That’s what we can get out of this collaboration with DTU and Energy
Cool in CITIES, says Leif Jørgensen.
The market for cooling is growing rapidly
points out that the market for cooling is growing rapidly due to global
warming, as well as increased data consumption, which requires the expansion of
– There are huge
prospects in converting heat to cooling, and we are proud to develop customized
solutions in collaboration with DTU and CITIES that benefits our customers and
especially the environment, Henrik Thorsen says.
At DTU Compute Professor and Project Manager at CITIES Henrik Madsen also links the demonstration project to other projects:
– Like other CITIES
solutions, the idea is that the final solution will be scaled up for use in
several other contexts at Denmark’s new digital hub for smart energy systems,
With the location
at Kolding, Center Denmark is located near key national players in the energy
market, such as Energinet, Ørsted, EWII, TREFOR and Danish District Heating.
This location will help ensure that Center Denmark becomes the hub of the new Energy Silicon Valley in Trekantområdet between Vejle, Fredericia and Kolding. Center Denmark has a close association with all four technical universities in Denmark, as well as a number of key players for a smart green transition.
In the analysis, Energinet looks more closely at the
need for the development of system solutions for the future we are facing with
ambitious climate targets for 2030 and onwards towards a RE-based energy
system, so that the conversion of the energy system is in line with the 70%
reduction target in 2030 and the possibility of to utilize large Danish
offshore wind resources – especially in the North Sea – optimally in the long
term a climate-neutral energy system.
During the preparation of the system analysis, Energinet has also used research and results from CITIES’ especially in relation to the part of the report that discusses system operation and digital architecture, where AI can be used for automation of operations, better forecasting methods, etc. Topics related closely to knowledge from CITIES’ focus area.
The analysis presents a number of examples of possible
long-term development paths for the energy system and is an important
contribution to the planning and development of the electricity system by Energinet Electricity System
The analysis shows that Power to X (PtX) and sector
coupling with gas incl. Hydrogen is important for efficient utilization of the
large Danish offshore wind resources.
With a good system development in this area, Denmark
can utilize the very large Danish offshore wind resources for electricity
exports when the international market price is high, whereas production in
hours with ample electricity production and low market value can be refined to
high-value PtX fuels that can replace fossil energy consumption.
This maximizes the value of the Danish wind power, and the Danish part of the North Sea can secure significant greenhouse gas reductions in both a national and international perspective.
The analysis ‘System perspectives at the 70% target
and large-scale offshore wind’ contains three parts:
• a focused analysis with examples of possible
development paths for a Danish energy system that meets the 70% reduction
target in 2030 (part 1),
• a long-term system analysis showing the prospects of
utilizing large-scale offshore wind in 2035 (part 2)
• a summary of selected focus areas for Energinet Electricity System
Operator (Energinet Systemansvar, in Danish) in relation to
the 70% reduction target, the utilization of large-scale offshore wind and the
long-term planning and development of the electricity system (part 3).
Venue: DTU and online, Copenhagen, Denmark Date: August 24-28, 2020 (registration before June 15. – Learn more in the link below)
Due to the COVID-19 situation, DTU is currently locked down and we don’t know if it will be open for the week of the summer school. Further, it’s probably not going to be possible to travel to Denmark.
Therefore: It will be possible, in any case, to participate in the summer school via online means.We will stream the lectures and will provide online interaction for all participants and assistance during exercises.
Digitalization is an important element in the future of sustainable supply solutions. In recent years, the proliferation of consumption meters and temperature sensors in the district heating supply has created a great potential for using real-time data and artificial intelligence to make district heating greener and more economically sustainable.
On March 5 2020, Professor and Center Manager for CITIES Innovation Center Henrik Madsen gave a presentation on a masterclass at Gate21 (and the IDASC project): Can district heating become self-learning? Find the presentation material (Danish) at Gate21.
One of CITIES’ demo projects is to develop an optimization method for the combined heat and power production planning in district heating systems and apply it to a real-world demo-case.
The idea is to improve
bids for selling and buying electricity in power markets- and in the end to
automate the bidding.
Assistant Professor Daniela Guericke, Postdoc Ignacio Blanco at DTU Compute together with Anders Andersen, EMD, have developed novel methods for the operation of district heating systems co-generating heat and power in 2018. Research Assistant Amos Schledorn from DTU Compute has now further developed the models.
Before the corona crisis closed Denmark Amos visited Middelfart Fjernvarme in Fyn to meet the operations manager, Jesper Skov, and learn how electricity market bids for combined heat and power generation are generated in Middelfart. Amos also showed how far his own model has been developed and tested it with new data from the district heating company.
– It was very nice
to visit Middelfart Fjernvarme and see how things are working in the real
world. Now, I am working on integrating the feedback from Jesper, so we can
develop a truly useful method and maybe, district heating companies could do
better with a model like ours, Amos says.
Two typical networks of district heating
Fjernvarme has two district heating networks in Nørre Aaby and Ejby. The
networks are typical networks of district heating in Denmark, which makes them
great testing sites for our model, Amos says.
– The plan is that
the algorithm behind the model generates the bids as in the real world – like
the operations manager Jesper is doing on paper. Our idea is that the method will
automate electricity market bidding for combined heat and power generation and
ideally, will improve both profitability for district heating companies and
flexibility in the national power system. That will also allow us to evaluate
potential investments in the district heating network under realistic
– Jesper Skov uses
also an online tool, but he has to do that by hand. It would be nice if you could
just insert your data once, and the computation of power market bids is
automated, Amos says.
In addition, Middelfart
Fjernvarme is happy to help:
– It has been
interesting and informative to try to help DTU to create a model to automatize
the biddings in the power-market. If they succeed, it will be a very useful
software for the district heating companies for optimizing their biddings,
Amos continues his
work at DTU Compute for the next months. When the model is ready, further
software development will be required to integrate the model into a larger
Professor Prof. Dr Henrik Madsen from (DTU Compute,
Technical University of Denmark) and Dr Seyyed Ali Pourmousavi Kani (School of
Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Adelaide, Australia) are
guest editors at the journal.
How to predict
The future power system will host a significant amount of renewable generation inevitably. These energy resources are naturally undispatchable and unpredictable and do not necessarily follow the load demand. Therefore, safe and secure operation of the future power system will require extra flexibility in real-time operation to compensate for the varying generation. This will not be possible by large synchronous rotating machines, as they are slow, less economically efficient and polluting.
In this regard, Demand Response Programs (DRP) are
attracting a lot of attention. Preliminary studies on Demand Response (DR)
resources in integrated energy systems have already projected incredible
potential to act as flexibility resources for power systems operations.
Nevertheless, there are still many questions and concerns related to DR resources involved in the electricity and energy markets, which have to be properly addressed.
This Special Issue publishes peer-reviewed papers from
researchers from different discipline who offer solutions and algorithms to effectively
incorporate DR resources in electricity and energy markets. These include the
conventional day-ahead and real-time wholesale markets as well as P2P
electricity trading considering stochasticity, unpredictability, and
nonlinearity of the phenomenon. In this framework, physical and virtual energy
storages and electric vehicles are also considered as DR resources. In our
special issue, we have a special focus on how to model, forecast and control
flexible resources in intelligent and integrated energy systems.
How will a
decarbonized energy system balance supply-demand operation to reach at least
60-70% of renewable energy sources (i.e., solar and wind) by 2050?
will be at the centre to integrate renewables, support efficient system
operations, and ensure security of supply. However, incentivizing and raising
flexibility touches upon multiple technological and structural challenges (e.g.
market and regulatory).
The workshop starts at 9:45am – ends at: 14:30pm.
The workshop with international speakers covers
multiple aspects of ‘Flexibility in Integrated Energy Systems’. Three main
sessions will be part of the workshop, which is as follows in the program:
Flexibility characterization, value, use cases and enablers
Energy systems integration, key flexibility technologies and industry perspective
The registered participants (by invitation only) will receive an invitation link the day prior to the workshop in order to login to the webinar telco tool. For inquiries or further details contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to Rune Grønborg Junker. On Thursday 6, February 2020 he has defended his PhD. A copy of the PhD thesis is available for reading at the department.
Popular science summary of the PhD thesis:
Energy grids around the world are undergoing a transformation from conventional production schemes based on carbon to renewable energy sources. This comes at a price since most renewable energy sources can not be controlled. Considering that most problems experienced by energy grids are handled by adjusting production, this is a major challenge. To cope with this, energy flexibility from demand have been proposed, where, instead of adjusting generation, the demand is adjusted according to the needs of the energy grids.
To be able to utilise energy flexibility, first it has to be understood. Since most energy flexibility comes from systems with dynamic needs and possibilities to adjust their demand, static approaches have limited use. The main objective of this thesis is to advance the understanding of dynamic energy flexibility. In particular, dynamic mathematical models for how to characterise energy flexibility are proposed. Contrary to previous works on energy flexibility, these models facilitate estimates of the energy flexibility when in use, allowing it to be understood out of steady-state, where it will be found most of the time.
Models are only as useful as the applications that they facilitate, and so, this thesis includes proposals for how to integrate energy flexibility using the developed models. This ranges from the component level, where appropriate control strategies have to be implemented, to the daily operation of energy grids where energy flexibility has to be utilised, all the way to the planning of future investments in the energy grids.