B2G – Smart Grids Modell, Region: Salzburg – Building to Grid

In Smart Grids the goal is to optimize grid operation through the cooperation between the grids and the buildings (backed up by building management systems and information technology) and through the optimization of some degrees of freedom (movable loads, load shedding, partial load operation, etc), which previously were not utilized.

In existing solution the grid optimization and building optimization are independent from each other , something that intelligent and communication building management systems should change. To be able to test the limits and discover the possibilities of the intelligent buildings cooperation with smart grids, an experiment should be conducted.

Around one-third of global energy consumption and gas emissions can be traced back to the building sector. Despite this prominent position, buildings continue to take on a passive role in modern energy grids. Industry and Transport take on active part in the power scheme while the buildings act only an unidirectional endpoint and are seen as a “black box”. Therefore, active participants in a smart grid can contribute to the overall optimization of the system by ascribing flexibility and exchanging information with the network.

The buildings contain a series of  energy intensive processes, mainly HVAC related, lighting and building services. Many of the processes have normal fluctuation margins around specific set points and operating times which can be utilized, if necessary. The aggregation of several buildings gives the capacity of greater flexibility and larger amounts of energy available. Strategies such as “demand response” (DR, loads that react to energy grid events) are still in an early phase because two important aspects still remain unresolved.

First of all, the smart grids are missing the state of the individual processes of the loads. Secondly, there is a lack of a standardized mean  to communicate these states. More intelligent algorithms that can integrate the loads harmonically into the network operation require the two above prerequisites resolved. This is the reason why only open-loop control is used, where the requirement for load shedding is requested only as a broadcast signal, without any differentiation, similar with the ripple control system. However, an intelligent system can take into account the process state of the customer system, receive feedback and anticipate a response. A traditional DR system can not estimate the response time of a DR event or the duration of the response, since the  loads do not provide any information about their condition.

The goal of this project is to close this gap and to clarify the limitations of the interaction between the smart buildings and smart grids. Therefore, flexible and generic energy-load models for buildings must be developed and embedded in an inter-operable communication infrastructure. Special insights are underway in the field of building optimizations in conjunction with energy grid optimization, while the est processes will be automated as much as possible.

As a result, the potential usage of active buildings in smart grids will be evaluated based on how communicable and aggregate-able energy load models behave, a missing building block of intelligent smart-grid-capable buildings.

About Lampros Fotiadis

Lampros Fotiadis MEng, MBA, was born in 1980 in Greece. His passion for engineering led him to receive his Engineer’s degree (MEng equivalent) from the Electrical and Computer Engineering school of the Aristotle University (Greece) in 2004. During his studies, he specialised in Electronics and Computer Engineering. In his diploma thesis, he simulated and implemented a multi-zone fuzzy-logic heating system using a real-time reconfigurable System-on-Chip. Pursuing a holistic approach to solving engineering problems, he successfully earned an MBA degree from the University of Macedonia (Greece) in 2006 and his master thesis examined the relation between European environmental policies and the European Energy market. He worked as an expert IT and Physical security consultant for more than 10 years and his expertise include system design and requirement analysis, system integration and product management. His recent areas of interests are Data Science, Machine Learning, Autonomous Driving and Smart Grids. Since February 2017 he is working as project member at the Institute of Computer Technology in the Energy&IT Group, where he is especially contributing know-how as IT and physical security consultant in the areas of smart grids and industry 4.0.
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