Smart energy grids are the backbone of the Smart City, and will be responsible for the intelligent management and operation of energy networks in cities, by utilising the potential for shift between thermal and electrical loads. Furthermore, the integration of decentralised renewable energy sources into existing energy grids brings up some major technical issues that have to be treated. The interaction between advanced communications infrastructure, mathematical modelling techniques, and numerical simulation environments is a powerful tool in this research area. This also holds for the potential storage capacity for both electrical and thermal energy within energy networks, which can be achieved by intelligent demand side management.
A major requirement in Smart Cities is to leverage energy consumption between the different producers and consumers (aka prosumers), which directly translates into reducing the pollution generated by today’s cities and the emerging mega cities. To fully understand the complex interaction between the city and its energy management systems, with all components at different urban scales (grids, buildings, supply technologies, and consumers), it is crucial to be able to unlock the full potential of smart grids. Therefore, a more holistic approach with a special focus on the interaction of all incorporated system elements is needed.
It is important to take into account the changing role of dwellings, neighbourhoods and cities, concerning the electricity consumption, distribution and storage. In recent years, cities are able to produce their own energy. By means of several types of technologies that can be deployed and used in households (solar panels, biomass, micro-windmills…), former users can become actual producers of their own renewable energy. In fact, it is often the case that end-users produce excess energy compared to their own household energy needs.
We propose a SCAlable & modular system for eNERGY trading between prosumers: SCANERGY. The proposal will train researchers in the development of intelligent algorithms for energy management in a smart city. The SCANERGY system will consist of different ICT modules allowing for distributed energy trading between prosumers. The modular aspect and distributed nature of the system offer scalability and robustness to accommodate the growing need for an intelligent management of produced and consumed energy.
SCANERGY will include an integration layer for the currently available energy infrastructure and will allow a near real-time coordinated control of the produced and consumed energy in a city. The software modules will implement innovative simulation and prediction models, both online and offline, as well as optimization algorithms that will leverage a more effective and rational usage of all resources available in a city. The proposal will enable a more efficient usage of renewable energy, the reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GGE), including the quantification of GGE reduction, the improvement of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and other comfort indicators. A high-level integrated computational management unit will make use of all data (independently of specific devices and configurations) and information that is available in real-time in the energy management systems existing in the city.