Smart Power Hamburg: A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) for the City of Hamburg


Smart Power Hamburg is a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie (BMWi) to develop and demonstrate a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) in the city of Hamburg.

  Smart Power Hamburg

The project Smart Power Hamburg aims at developing and demonstrating new approaches to city heating and electricity supply for the city of Hamburg, in order to support achieving the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 40% by 2020 compared to 1990. The holistic approach of this project is to incorporate buildings with demand side management, combined heating and power plants (CHPs) and thermal storage systems to constitute a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) operated with an advanced energy management system (EMS), which can supply energy to the consumers and provide ancillary services to the electricity grid.

This project is carried out in cooperation with the partners HAMBURG ENERGY, Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaft (HAW) Hamburg, Institut für Hochspannungstechnik (RWTH Aachen), Forschungsgemeinschaft für Elektrische Anlagen und Stromwirtschaft (FGH).

In this second year the project has progressed in different aspects. The different system components, such as building with intelligent control, CHPs, and thermal storages have been modeled and evaluated in different simulation tools. An agent-based platform for system simulation is under development. A centralized optimal scheduling concept is under investigation for achieving a coordinated electricitydriven operation of CHPs. Service-oriented system architecture for the EMS, based on an innovative information and communication technology (ICT) platform, is analyzed, and a draft hierarchical architecture for the VPP control center is formalized. Different communication protocols are under investigation for use in the EMS. In particular, the representational state transfer (REST) web service protocol is used as the communication protocol of data transmission for simulating and evaluating the EMS. Furthermore, the mapping from the abstract communication service interface (ACSI) of IEC 61850, a standard for communication networks and systems for power utilities, to REST is defined. Different business models for the VPP, for providing ancillary services, are also analyzed in order to define an economically feasible VPP system.

ACS mainly contributes to the simulation of the VPP, including all models of the relevant system components, as CHPs, buildings and storages, in order to evaluate the operating concept of the VPP. A CHP model was implemented in Modelica to be modular and easy to use, for evaluating the operational energy balancing of the VPP. This model is extended with selected data models, according to IEC 61850 Standard, thus enabling standard compliant communication and control information exchange. This is the enabler for integration of this model with other simulation platforms, for the purpose of global system simulation.

Besides completing the ongoing work, a distributed operating approach based on the multi-agent concept will be investigated as an alternative to the centralized operation concept.