Energy Hubs ; Optimal Control ; Distributed Control ; Multi Energy Carriers
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Increasing energy efficiency at the unit and neighbourhood level for residential, commercial and industrial through innovative approaches is crucial for achieving Switzerland’s strategic objectives in the energy domain. In order to pursue this aim it is necessary to develop more advanced control algorithms to appropriately schedule energy utilisation by fully exploiting the novel conversion, storage and allocation possibilities offered by integrated energy hub systems.The project objective is to develop and implement a viable control scheme for the operation of such entities. The proposed scheme must be capable of appropriately controlling the relevant generation, conversion and storage technologies in order to meet the required electric and heat demand while ensuring performance optimization regarding, e.g., economic costs, losses, or CO2 emissions and by also taking the interdependency of the different energy carriers inherently into account. A promising approach for addressing such multivariable and multiobjective problems is the use of model predictive control (MPC) methods, as such methods are capable of controlling complex systems with both operational constraints and time-varying objectives. MPC is suited for control of multi-carrier systems, since it can adequately take into account the dynamics of the energy storage devices and the characteristics of the electricity and natural gas networks. By using MPC, actions can be determined that anticipate future events, such as increasing or decreasing energy prices or changes within the load profiles. Operation costs are reduced by exploiting forecasts about future loads, weather, and energy availability, to plan an optimal energy use scenario for a medium term (several days) horizon. The strategy is recalculated typically every 15 minutes to compensate for changing operating conditions. This allows predictive action, such as storing energy before peak times, changing the settings of a power plant with sufficient lead-time, or starting up an additional power plant as required.