About the Project
The INERTIA framework adopts the Internet of Things/Services principles to the Distribution Grid Control Operations and extends DSM strategies operation by incorporating various types of DER instead of simple consumer loads and treating both local generation and consumption under a single unified framework. The lowest level components of the INERTIA active distribution grid management framework are defined as semantically enhanced DER. These are the smallest units acting as flexible components (generation as well as consumption) that carry contextual knowledge concerning their local environment. Within INERTIA, DERs form dynamic clusters essentially comprise self-organized networks of intelligent active nodes that efficiently distribute and balance global and local intelligence. This self-organized overlay network of connected DER allows for the seamless management and control of the active grid as well as the efficient coordination between suppliers (traditional and RES) and prosumers (local generation and consumption) in an optimized and secure manner. DERs dynamically form appropriately defined clusters (Aggregations) and, to this end, the overall control network on the highest level consists of two types of peers/hubs, while appropriate agent sub-components run on both hubs; underlying the self-organized distributed grid and load control operations:
- Aggregator Control Hub: The Aggregators manage the prosumer portfolio in an optimized way, trading with the market stakeholders on behalf of small customers. Aggregators gather, analyze and efficiently organize their customer loads portfolio and define specific Active Demand (AD) strategies and respective services based on market needs, acting as an intermediary between suppliers & network operators and the different C&I prosumers belonging to their portfolios.
- Local Control and Automation Hub: Local Control Hub corresponds to the level of building areas, buildings or building complexes. Local Control Actions and respective information are autonomously and automatically managed in real time by the Local Control Hub, minimizing or eliminating the required interaction by the prosumers and ensuring the self privacy and autonomy of tertiary buildings by delivering a self-learning building hub that models the building and occupancy operations (implicit or explicit occupant & prosumer profiling) which interact with the grid on a continuous and real time basis, based also on present building context (occupancy evidence or prediction, environmental context, etc.)
Based on the high level distinction of roles, a conceptual architecture is presented and a high level analysis of the main components follows.
The Local Control Hub, following the conceptual view, corresponds to the level of building areas by modeling the building and occupancy operations while interacting with the external environment on a continuous and real time basis. The main components that consist of the INERTIA Local Hub approach are defined.
INERTIA Semantic Based Middleware: for integrated management of the DER as well as the interfacing of individual and aggregated loads with the grid. The Semantic Middleware (based on the Hydra/ LinkSmart Middleware) establishes a seamless, transparent and homogeneous interface to all sensor/actuator/metering cloud components (appliances, smart meters, various sensors etc). What’s more, it provides on top of the cloud, appropriately defined semantic (virtual) devices, thus incorporating the necessary semantics (ontology and rules) for the efficient grouping and coordinated management of the various components.
INERTIA Multi-Agent Based Framework: The coordination and control mechanisms of the overall framework is supported by a multi- and critical scale dynamic and evolvable heterogeneous multi-agent system with models and algorithms that represent and act (cooperate and compete) on behalf of the diverse actors (stakeholders and their systems). The agents represent the various entities ranging from single sensors to dynamic clusters DERs, building areas or even building complexes. The agents embody the INERTIA Semantic Components in their knowledge frames as these frames are extended with context-specific management schemes and mechanisms. Depending on which entity the agents represent, they perform actions on behalf of them in order to align the physical with the logical operational framework.
INERTIA Ambient User Interfaces: to continuously collect data resulting from the occupant’s interaction with existing traditional building hub devices and provide the necessary incentives through different interaction GUIs (e.g. through mobiles, monitors, etc) towards driving them to more energy efficient choices.
The Aggregator Hub contains a multi parametric functionality addressing the everyday operating needs of the Aggregator. The Aggregator stands between the final customers and market stakeholders as well as specific market operations and needs (wholesale market, ancillary services, etc.) and thus manages the customer portfolio in an optimized way, trading with the market stakeholders on behalf of the customers. In that way, the Aggregator is provided with efficient tools that allow him to gather (“aggregate”), analyze and efficiently organize its customer loads portfolio. The main components of the aggregator side are:
Aggregator’s Flexibility Analysis: to provide visualization and interaction mechanisms to the Aggregators for multi-dimensional analysis, correlation and efficient management of prosumers profiles. Towards this direction innovative visual analytics techniques are provided for performing hypothesis testing and also evaluating dynamic scenarios, based on location & temporal correlation of multiple parameters.
Aggregator’s Grid Coordination & DR Activation: stands as the front-end communication point with the grid operator in order to perform real time and dynamic control operation. Through the multi-criteria analysis and dynamic aggregation of DER, the Aggregator evaluates efficient ways of defining valuable services provided by DER clusters to the Distribution Grid.
Aggregator’s Control & Optimization: is responsible for robust decentralized but coordinated participation of prosumers into new energy models, critically real time services, allowing for a scalable efficient distributed management of energy grids, including DER. Alternative strategies and levels of control and automation are evaluated under different contracts replacing presently known uninterruptible contracts that require human interaction.
The aforementioned analysis presents the main components of the INERTIA overall approach towards the integration of DERs under a common framework for the delivery of Smart grids (Aggregator level) and Energy efficiency (Local Hub level) services.
The overall evaluation framework is based on a combination of data acquired from real life operational conditions, real market data concerning individual and aggregated load profiles as well as a carefully test suite of simulated data. Two major infrastructures are the main constituents of the pilot evaluation & demonstration framework.
The Real End-Prosumer Pilot (CERTH Premises consisting of multifaceted areas on 3 pilot trials) is used for the initial calibration of the INERTIA system components as well as the basis for the development of an extrapolated and simulated prosumer portfolio. Apart from the micro-level data acquired from the CERTH premises (on the level of individual DER up to the level of building complexes), dataset for energy consumption, based on real time conditions are also available from different E.U. areas (Greece, Spain, Sweden) while actual market data concerning on the micro and meso-level (aggregated load flexibility data) are provided from different real life marker operations.
In order to set the test bed for the Aggregator's operation of the project, the TECNALIA MicroGrid Lab (Centre for Development and Demonstration of DER Technologies), which comprises different generation and storage devices and various loads, is selected. The TECNALIA lab is utilized to simulate the distribution grid context and overall conditions and constraints necessitating for DR as well as to evaluate the contribution of different strategies to the grid reliable operation. The overall platform subsequently assists the Aggregator on defining and generating appropriate DSM strategies to cope with these constraints, as well as to further coordinate and monitor their successful roll-out.
From the pilot site description it is clear that the overall evaluation is evolved around two intertwined and parallel action lines. Interfacing with the Distribution Grid focuses on how specific Distribution Grid operations will be supported by appropriately formed DSM strategies applied over vast amounts of Active DER components. The actual monitoring and verification of the response of the customers at the micro-level is defined as part of the second action line. Prosumer Portfolio models incorporate aspects driven by activity flows as well as personal preference and capture prosumer activity flows, personal and group preferences and eventually DER operations.
Demand Side Management has the unleashed capacity to overcome some of the major barriers of controlling and balancing supply and become a powerful tool at the hands of Distribution Grid Operators as well as other market stakeholders responsible for the provision of high quality services. Moreover, as DERs continuously set an indispensable part of the EU Grids infrastructure, demand capacity and flexibility becomes a critical grid operation performance factor with shared profit opportunities for consumers and all stakeholders involved.
On top of the current state, the proposed framework tries to provide an holistic approach in the way to overcome the existing barriers on Demand Side Management and offers an integrated solution for the vast implementation of Demand response strategies. INERTIA introduces efficiently Coordinated Active DER Clusters which collectively behave more reliably and in a more controlled manner with obvious benefits for the Grid. The proposed framework, under the future envisioned DSM models, tries to dynamically enhance robust prosumer profiles, minimizing the end-user interaction, and automatically acts towards overall performance optimization (user preferences and comfort, environmental conditions) allowing for real-time decision making with available short-term information.
All the details about the INERTIA project, events and publications are available in the following website:
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