Climate change close to home
Climate change and the energy transformation require innovative solutions to ensure a sustainable supply of electricity and heat. Increasing electrification, expansion of decentralized energy generation and growing power grid fluctuations are testing the limits of the existing supply system, a situation that can only be overcome with novel solutions.
Today, roughly one-third of Germany’s energy is consumed by buildings, such as apartments, industrial and commercial buildings and public structures. For this reason, cross-sector efficiency improvements and further integration of renewable energy sources have become important political and societal goals. With the increased use of sector coupling, previously separate sectors such as electricity, heat and mobility could grow together in an intelligent fashion. This increases flexibility in the electricity sector and opens up a wide range of application opportunities for renewable energy sources.
One way to sustainably and efficiently structure the demand for energy is to focus the supply on groups of buildings rather than on single residences. With this approach, synergies could be exploited to reduce the oversizing of the heating systems and significantly increase economic efficiency. With a CO2 neutral future in mind, fortiss thus developed a multi-energy management and aggregation platform that can be used to plan and operate municipal districts.
The fortiss system enables energy systems to be networked and avoids oversizing, which makes efficient utilization impossible. This allows heating systems to be operated in a cost- and CO2-optimized manner while locally distributing the energy across the district in a reasonable way. The goal of optimizing energy consumption and increasing efficiency, so that the investments pay off more quickly as well, is achieved in any case.
Together with the project partners, fortiss developed a digital platform for energy systems and evaluated it in the Riemerling district south of Munich. The software environment serves to connect the different energy systems. The usage data in the individual buildings is monitored and analyzed in an advanced digital platform. Optimal control signals are then conveyed back to the individual systems or energy management systems, thus ensuring that energy consumption is covered as efficiently as possible, meaning in a cost-minimizing or CO2-minimizing manner depending on the goal.
For the purposes of the project, a model-predictive controller was developed, which optimally controls the entire system by taking into account all sectors (heat, electricity) through the use of industrial interfaces (OPC UA, REST). Apart from operation of the platform, the controller is also used for simulation, planning and cost efficiency calculations. In addition, export models were employed via a building information model (BIM), from which the planning can be supported. This approach thus covers planning and operation alike.
The fortiss approach shows that a network of systems is a clear step forward for the energy world. Cost-effective solutions that reduce costs and CO2 emissions are already possible today. The definition of interfaces, models for data exchange and intelligent and optimizing controllers are a major contribution to the project. This progress is integrated into the existing open source tools.
From a political standpoint, there are unfortunately still regulatory hurdles to be overcome Germany. Countries such as the Netherlands have already discovered simpler and faster approaches to the implementation. The MEMAP project demonstrates that the technical advances that have already been achieved indicate the direction in which energy provisioning in Germany should also head in several years.
fortiss is responsible for the MEMAP optimization core together with the Technical University Munich (TUM) COSES Lab. The experts at TUM test the technical feasibility of the platform in their lab.
Sauter-Cumulus GmbH supports the project with technical equipment in Riemerling and with its energy management system (EMS). The company also serves as an expert in the field and is involved in analyses to determine the economic feasibility of the solutions.
Holsten Systems GmbH is an innovative startup in the area of open systems for technical building equipment, supply engineering and data analysis. Holsten Systems is developing the analysis dashboard for the MEMAP environment.
IBDM GmbH is a building optimization specialist for energy technology and an expert in the area of building information modeling. The Riemerling-based company’s contribution revolves around the BIM modeling and data import for the planning tool.
A team from the Bayern Innovativ / Zentrum Digitalisierung Bayern supporting the project as an expert for the political environment and with its extensive network, offers outstanding opportunities to introduce the MEMAP solution across Bavaria.