Simulating Intelligent Energy Systems for Buildings and Urban Districts

From smart homes to the intelligent supply of entire districts using renewable energy: reliably and efficiently plan and optimize complex systems consisting of energy sources, distribution, storage and consumers (in households or industry) using system simulation.

Sustainable energy systems: Decentral generation and storage with sector coupling

The idea of climate neutral power generation and heat supply using renewable energy sources is steadily increasing in importance. With increasing integration of renewable energy sources for power and heat generation, as well as the goal of using the available energy with as few losses as possible, the energy industry is faced with change: instead of a largely centralized energy supply as in previous decades, many modern approaches are based on energy supply with smaller, decentral facilities.

To limit grid expansion costs and reduce transmission losses, energy storage as part of an energy supply system is constantly becoming more important. For operators of e.g. solar, wind, or combined heat and power plants, energy storage is important to compensate for disproportionate rates of grid feed-in remuneration to grid power draw costs. Additionally, multiple wind and solar power plants as well as storage systems can be combined to form virtual power plants to provide balancing energy.

To increase the efficiency factor between primary and usable energy, the energy production, heat production and transportation sectors need to be considered collectively.

Do you want to simulate the influence of consumer behavior on complex energy systems?

Henryk Haufe, Mario Stelzmann, Ulrich Moeller and Stephan Schönfelder from the HTWK Leipzig demonstrate in their technical paper “Occupant behavior of a plus energy building regarding monitoring and standard values” a solution using monitoring data and SimulationX.

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Applications

Design, plan and test energy supply systems using system simulation

Combining heat, power and mobility systems quickly leads to complexity. With system simulation, you maintain an overview and obtain reliable information about the Return on Investment already in the planning phase. You can quickly and effectively compare alternative technologies custom-fit for the individual conditions of your project, and plan and size all the components.

Combined heat and power supply – saving energy by coupling sectors

Heat and power generation as well as their distribution and storage generally constitute a connected system. For example, in the case of a combined heat and power plant (CHP), heat can be supplied using the rejected heat or using “Power to Heat” in the form of heat pumps or electric heaters. Planning the heat and power supply together reduces energy losses and achieves economic synergy effects. In many cases, it is effective to store excess power in the form of heat. However, conventional planning and sizing methods quickly reach their limits with complex heat and power systems. With specific solutions in SimulationX you maintain an overview of complex energy systems with sector coupling. You understand the influence of each component, obtain important information for the selection of the right technology and components, and test your concept using reliable simulations.

Are you dealing with district heating systems with power-heat coupling and heat pumps?

Torsten Schwan und René Unger from EA Systems Dresden describe in their paper “Holistic district heating grid design with SimulationX/Green City” the fundamentals of district heating simulation, and demonstrate the advantages of these new methods.

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Simulation of renewable energy systems combined with E-mobility

Considering energy systems as a whole, electric vehicles are an essential part: as an energy consumer, storage and source. Examine the influence of recuperation in your power grid. Use electric vehicle fleets as mobile energy storage and adjust the charging time to the available power. Likewise, charging stations with their own energy supply can be quickly and clearly modeled, simulated and analyzed with SimulationX.

Virtual commissioning of smart homes: quicker to the finished product

Smart Homes promise a high quality of life through efficient use of available energy. Renewable energy sources can be optimally integrated through intelligent control, and thus the CO2 footprint significantly reduced. However, each building is unique – if only because of different usage or climatic conditions at the location. With a virtual twin of the energy systems and consumers (including user behavior) of your building, you can develop, test and optimize individual Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) even before construction is finished. Various climatic scenarios or seasons can be set up as desired, and you obtain reliable information about the efficiency of the energy supply for any conditions. When the construction of the building and installation of all systems is finished, the control strategy which was tested on the virtual model can be directly transferred to the Building Management System.

Design Smart Homes using a virtual system model!

Wessam El-Baz, Christian Kandler, Patrick Wimmer, Mark Windeknecht and Peter Tzscheutschler from the Technical University of Munich describe in their technical paper „Practical experiences with smart homes modeling and simulation“ various methods to incorporate the building in demand-side management.

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You develop or implement Building Management Systems?

In the project „enerMAT“, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), ESI ITI together with partners developed a workflow for the virtual commissioning of energy-saving building control and automation solutions. You can profit from this technology too!

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Development, test and layout of equipment (e.g. storage) using realistic scenarios

It is important to know which requirements are posed by the surrounding system to choose the right technology for a component and dimension it properly. In choosing the right storage system, the storage capacity, duration and necessary charge and discharge powers, as well as the number of cycles all play a role. With the software SimulationX you quickly obtain reliable data about the surrounding conditions and can test the chosen components/system using a model of the connected energy system. In this way, you choose the right components each time, and optimize their interaction in the network.

Design, develop and test strategies for intelligent demand-side management for industry, household or city planning

An essential component of intelligent energy systems is adapted load control. In particular, combined heat and power with energy storage offers the chance to decouple the demand and supply peaks. Using smart demand-side management and storage, the energy draw from the power or heat grid can be shifted to a time when the energy costs are low. Furthermore, using smart control of the demand, energy supply and storage systems in self-sufficient or semi-self-sufficient systems can be dimensioned smaller and thus be planned more cost-efficiently. Using a simulation model of your equipment and the network you can quickly develop the economically optimal strategy for demand-side management, and test the controller directly on the model.

Ensure Grid Stability in an Isolated Network

If power is produced locally, and the local grid is not connected to the public power grid, the required power supply quality must be ensured locally. For example, for sensitive industrial processes it can be profitable to build a local infrastructure if the power availability, voltage quality or stability of the grid frequency doesn’t meet the requirements. Plan your own power supply grids and accurately lay out the required components using simulation. Test the grid stability using a simulation model – even for start-up processes, consumption fluctuation or disturbances.

Benefits

Understand, optimize and virtually test complex energy systems

SimulationX is your flexible simulation environment for quick and reliable modeling, calculation and analysis of energy systems. Power, heat and in particular coupled networks: fit generation capacity, transmission paths and storage accurately to various usage scenarios! In this way, you increase the efficiency of the whole system and use the full potential of available energy sources.

Reference
  • Honda Research Institute Europe

    The Honda Research Institute Europe (HRI-EU) uses SimulationX for researching smart energy management

    about Honda's project
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