In the electrical power supply grid, which extends from generators to electrical loads, the exact balance of production and consumption must be maintained at all times. The liberalization of energy markets and the increasing use of renewable energy sources has led to an increasing demand for energy control, due to the dynamic production profiles of distributed production. At present, the balance is mainly held by measures on the production side.
However, energy control can also be achieved on the consumer side, either only conceptually in the form of load shifts or in reality with various methods such as by altering the thermal energy in heating or cooling processes. Coordinated energy management on the consumer side of the electrical network has the potential to revolutionize the conventional methods of balancing. In this work a new model for the behavior of such distributed energy storage in management of load processes is derived. The model is based on case studies and measurements of electrical loads in which slow thermal processes occur.
Based on this model, a distributed algorithm is developed that enables primary balancing in the network to be handled by load management. This system is implemented, tested and compared with related solutions in a simulation environment. The technical feasibility of load-side primary control is demonstrated. The proposed algorithm is robust against breakdowns in the communication infrastructure because it primarily responds to fluctuations in the network frequency and the communication between the load nodes does not have to meet any real-time conditions. It allows energy consumers to provide primary control energy to the electrical grid without having to accept concessional losses. This enables energy customers to gain financial benefits from the revenues for primary energy, if market entry is to be opened to end users. The proposed system is a step in the direction of future energy systems, which will be equipped with considerably more information technology than is the case today to meet the coming challenges of electrical power supply.