Urban District and Neighborhood Management

With the growing expansion of renewables, the demand for intelligent energy management solutions is increasing in the low-voltage grid. Local energy generation from micro plants and flexible loads are synchronized at the local level, thus reducing complexity at the higher voltage levels. In the future, city quarters and neighborhoods will be actively managed to maximize local generation and relieve superordinate grid levels. In this context, we are developing new management solutions based on decentralized plants and a large number of market participants. Besides optimization at the building, we are also researching holistic concepts for neighborhood management. From the first concept to the realized city quarter flagship project, we drive innovative solutions forward, demonstrating the advantages of decentralized energy management in real-life operation

Our R&D activities on "Urban District and Neighborhood Management" include:

Energy Agents for Distributed Micro Systems

Networked Energy Agents
© Fraunhofer ISE
Networked Energy Agents.

For a distributed energy landscape with a large number of controllable loads and generators, we develop individual energy agents which are tailored to the respective system requirements and convert user-defined targets into control commands. Agents act independently without a central control authority in order to optimize the plant operation and are in communication with other agents to optimize the larger network of plants.

Technology Consulting for Solutions with BSI-compliant Smart Metering Systems, Especially for System Control via Control Boxes

Installation of an intelligent smart meter
© Dmitry Kalinovsky/shutterstock.com
Installation of an intelligent smart meter.

The nationwide roll-out of the intelligent measuring system iMSys has been decided. The Smart Meter Gateway offers a secure communication channel to the meters and controllable loads of the end customer. Control boxes are used as energy management gateways, which ensure optimized operation through networking, and are also used for targeted energy efficiency analysis of systems in the power grid. In our Digital Grid Lab, we investigate the use cases for load control via the smart meter gateway.

Simulation and Evaluation of Decentralized Energy Management

Simulation process of a load management
© Fraunhofer ISE
Simulation process of a load management.

To test the performance of a decentralized energy management system, we have developed a modular simulation environment with many technology models which can be individually configured. Based on the models from the synPRO family, a simulation landscape can be created bottom up to simulate the energy system of a complete district.

Accounting of Energy Quantities in the Block Chain

Billing in the block chain
© istock.com / ismagilov
Billing in the block chain.

In order to carry out the billing of renewable energy quantities in neighborhoods securely and transparently without introducing a new central accountant, we are developing so-called “smart contracts” for use in block chain environments. This robust infrastructure that builds trust and provides the financial incentives for a high-resolution data-based energy management.

Management Systems for Urban District and Neighborhood Management and Tenant Electricity Projects

Exemplary use case for energy agents
© Fraunhofer ISE
Exemplary use case for energy agents: The landlord-to-tenant object, where the users optimize their electricity consumption in the building.

Our energy management systems are used for the realization of landlord-to-tenant electricity supply projects and urban quarter projects. We examine future load profiles and control concepts in detail. This helps to avoid the necessity of expanding power grids. In addition to optimizing the electricity system, we are also working on sector coupling for the sectors of mobility, heating and cooling. In current research projects, we demonstrate a vision of future communities with a locally generated energy supply based on renewables . Such projects make an important contribution on the way to a citizen-owned energy supply.

Further information on this research topic:

Research Topic

Flexible Consumption Control

Research Project

EnStadt:Pfaff - Decentralized Energy Management from the Smart Home to the Urban Quarter

Research Project

»EnStadt:Pfaff« – Technologien zur Energieversorgung im Reallabor

Technologies for energy supply in real laboratories