Balancing demand-response platform for an efficient, reasonably-priced and sustainable electricity market
Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project
The energy market needs to integrate new solutions for balancing electricity supply and demand. Currently, the passive and unidirectional model is unable to schedule production programs to meet demand without creating imbalances in the electricity grid. This brings consequent inefficiencies with negative impact on the physical, economic and environmental aspects of the entire grid system and on the electricity market.
Our objective is to solve the problem of electric imbalance by a process of digitization or virtualization, transforming electrical energy into a programmable asset. For each quantity of electricity required (Demand), the same quantity is produced from the best source available at that time (Response). Any error due to the over-consumption and under-consumption of the Demand with respect to the expected values is canceled by implementing a series of programming corrections, according to a priority list previously defined for the specific plant, without this significantly affecting the level of performance required by the consumption process (industry, services, residential).
Work performed so far
Tecnalogic has developed a Prototype Platform V.1 and validated a stand-alone (single plant, no cloud architecture) Demand/Response system. Communication between the field and the control center is based on a simple exchange of text files containing historical consumption data and operational data of each significant load (Profiling) and the daily programming of field devices (Scheduling). In case the total consumption reach the predefined upper or lower threshold, an automatic secondary programming (Balancing) is activated combining a set of predefined and not critical actions on the single loads (lights on / off, temperature increase / decrease) to contribute for a quick return from the global imbalance.
Also, the management of a cogeneration plant enabled the simulation of stock market purchases on different sessions.
With these experiments tested in hospital and building office, we were able to prove the technical feasibility of the main modules (Demand Side Management, Response Side Management, and Balancing Demand Response) confirming that the system allows to obtain:
- Energy efficiency. Intervention on the thermal inertia differentials in a measure equal to one degree have benefits in terms of efficiency of 10-15% compared to the consumption of electricity without the system.
- Detailed consumption profiling. Thanks to the correlation with meteorological data and other event scheduling data, the use data of the individual subsystems contribute to greater precision in the definition of the schedules and of consumption forecasts.
- Reduction of consumption. Having control over energy assets, it is possible to negotiate an improvement contract in terms of quantity and price with the trader, since the resulting benefit to the trader is a reduction in the risk of managing the energy portfolio.
- Power budget reduction. A supply adequate to the actual consumption needs can bring an estimated benefit of 10%.
- Reduction of unbalancing costs. The reduction and potential cancellation of consumption peaks can bring an estimated benefit of 25%.
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact
After final development, the main modules (Energy Audit, Demand Side Management, Response Side Management, Balancing Demand Response, and Market) will be integrated using cloud infrastructure for real-time intercommunication. NegaWh EXchange will be a unique solution in the field of Active Demand and Flexible Response using algorithms of artificial neural network, machine learning, deep learning, non-linear programming and support vector machine to match energy production and consumption in real-time based on international patented methods.