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An EEPOS Neighbourhood

In EEPOS, a neighbourhood is considered as an association of prosuming grid users being residential buildings, small business or industrial units (e.g., offices or supermarkets), RES, loads other than buildings (e.g., street lighting), as well as energy storage systems to be controlled as a whole. From the electricity grid perspective, the neighbourhood involves all grid users on the low voltage side of the step-down transformer. Energy management within such a neighbourhood is carried out on two levels: neighbourhood and building. The term “building” in this context refers to both households, which are controlled by one energy management system, and apartments or offices, which are in fact only parts of buildings.

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Accordingly, in neighbourhoods equipped with the EEPOS system, each building has its own Building Energy Management System (Building EnMS) which at least performs real time monitoring of energy consumption and ideally also carries out automated energy management by shifting domestic electricity loads including energy storage systems. All Building EnMS as well as further distributed RES (e.g., PV panels or small wind turbines) and energy storage systems have a bidirectional data connection to the EEPOS system using internet protocol (IP) based standardised protocols.

The EEPOS system is the central energy management system within the neighbourhood and performs coordinated energy management. Additionally, it actively participates in energy trading with external parties on behalf of the neighbourhood members. The energy management systems in different houses are directly involved in neighbourhood level management as they have access to controllable consumers on household level. They are supported by the EEPOS system with additional information on neighbourhood grid status and requirements.

In contrast to energy management in households, an additional aspect can be exploited on the neighbourhood level: local diversity in use. For example, residential buildings can supply office buildings with electricity generated by PV during daytime, where they are mostly unoccupied, while using the energy on their own at the beginning and end of the day. If both electrical and thermal grids are in place, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units can be modulated to either be driven by heat or electrical power demand, again depending on the time of day and local energy consumption. This is especially effective if used in combination with thermal storages.

To maximise the flexibility of a neighbourhood, the EEPOS system covers both local electricity and heating grids. CHP plants are the most common heat generators in distribution grids and, from the EEPOS perspective, are considered as flexible electricity generators. Upon request, their electrical output may be changed within a certain range. However, such variations in electricity generation may influence heat production, while the flexibility of a CHP plant depends on the thermal capacities of heat distribution grid and thermal storages. Furthermore, distributed energy resources, like heat pumps or solar thermal collector systems, can be considered as flexible electric loads, since they do not produce electricity but consume it to transfer heat to households. This consumption may be controlled to some degree.