Master's thesis Sara YagŁe Cuesta

Development of a control strategy for energy conversion units in a heating network using a co-simulation platform

District heating S. Cuesta Copyright: EBC Simplified district heating network comprising three buildings

Numerous trends across the energy sector towards a future with higher energy efficiency and lower carbon footprint become visible and are pushing a transition to a more integrated and cooperative network of sources and loads. This future grid features large supplies of renewable generation sources that are challenged by the variability of the resource. Renewable sources cannot be dispatched and their output varies depending on local weather conditions, which are not completely predictable. Increased electric system flexibility, needed to enable electricity supply-demand balance, can be a key solution to meet the challenge imposed by the increasing penetration of variable renewable energy sources.

To this end, the main goal of this research project is to develop a control strategy to adapt the supply system to the fluctuating generation of renewable energy sources and to integrate a higher share of these sources at a city district scale. This is achieved through a coordinated control of CHPs and heat pumps and their integration into a local heating network supplied only by decentralised heat generators. To conduct the assessment of the control strategy and carry out the simulations, a thermo-hydraulic house model adapted to work in a heating network is developed in Modelica. Thus, the consumers’ interaction and the influence of the exchange of surplus heat in the thermal flexibility can also be investigated. In summary, this work lays the foundations for an energy management control strategy in an innovative heating network configuration comprising decentralised heat generators and a high penetration of renewables.