The GridFlex Heeten project: From simulation to field test

Bart Homan (Speaker), Reijnders, V. M. J. J. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


The 'GridFlex Heeten' project started in 2017 with following goal: to use the local flexibility of batteries and households to reduce the overall stress on the network, thereby postponing or even entirely avoiding reinforcing the grid as well as reducing losses in the grid. In the project, this is done by realizing a local energy market to test innovative price mechanisms. As an exemption on the Dutch energy law for experimenting was obtained, we can validate these concepts in a field test.
However, before we can start the field test, we first need the tools, equipment and households that participate in the test. 47 households in Heeten (a village in the Netherlands) were willing to participate in the field test, all of which are located behind a single transformer. Some of the houses are already equipped with PV-panels, and all households have home energy management systems. In addition to that, we will equip 22 households with a Seasalt battery, and a Battery Management System (BMS) with which the behaviour of the battery can be monitored and influenced.
An important part of the BMS is the DEMKit software, developed at the University of Twente (UT). However, management of the battery is only part of what the DEMKit software is used for in the 47 houses. On the basis of data on the weather, houses, and residents, and models of houses and the available devices the software can predict energy usage and production for the 47 houses. Based on these predictions the desired behaviour of each battery can be planned; i.e. when is the most feasible time to charge and discharge each battery. Lastly, the battery behaviour can be influenced in real time. The principles of how to match local energy demands and production have been thoroughly investigated in our "16 houses case" papers.
The software was also made compatible with an off-the-shelf inverter system that interacts physically with the battery. The Seasalt battery is a new battery, for which no off-the-shelf BMS exists yet, so an appropriate model was developed at the UT to predict the behaviour of the Seasalt battery; the DiBu-model.
With all assets in place, the testing can finally start. A whole new area of research now emerges. By reducing the stress on the network, savings are earned as a group, but how should we divide this? How do we take into account the community feeling, fairness, and user participation? Should we give someone who reduces the stress further, more money? How do we communicate different price mechanisms to participants and give them insight into these? More research needs to be done, but one thing is clear. You need a field test to validate the research, but you also need research to make a field test a success.
Period29 Nov 2018
Held atEnergy Open 2018
Event typeWorkshop
LocationEindhoven, Netherlands
Degree of RecognitionInternational