Energy-Hub for Residential and Commercial Districts and Transport.
e-hub is developing a new type of district energy infrastructure consisting of advanced systems for matching supply and demand of energy (heat, cold and electricity) on the one hand and advanced heat storage technologies such as TCM's (Thermo Chemical Materials) on the other. The technology will be demonstrated at full scale in the district of Tweewaters, Belgium.
To achieve low energy or even energy neutral districts, the share of renewable energy must increase drastically over present levels. Accommodating a large supplier of renewable energy such as a wind turbine in the existing energy infrastructure, is complicated by the fluctuating character of the energy supply : it is either too large or too small to cover the instantaneous energy demand. Both smart energy management systems and energy storage are necessary to maximize the amount of renewable energy in the district.
Regarding smart energy management, TNO developed an algorithm to match supply and demand of electricity and heat simultaneously. This agent based algorithm is an extension of the Powermatcher © algorithm and is called the MultiCommodity Matcher. In the FAN network (flexiblepower.org) stakeholders in smart grids are making a joint effort to set these algorithms as the standard in the operation of smart grids.
Excess renewable heat can be stored e.g.in advanced Thermochemical storage. TNO designed, built and tested a 3 kWh thermochemical reactor with Zeolite as the active material. In addition, a mathematical model was made and validated with experimental results. The agreement between mathematical model and experimental results shows that the main processes of water evaporation, transport and absorption of water vapour in the Zeolite are well understood. The model paves the way for larger and optimized reactors.
TNO is also cooperating with partners to produce a simulation platform to assess the performance of smart grids on district level, using the Multicommodity Matcher. In the end the platform is intended to be used as a consultancy tool in advising e.g. municipalities in their ambitions to create energy efficient or even energy neutral districts using large shares of renewable energy.