Real Value: Realizing Value from energy markets with small-scale thermal storage

Duration: 1.5 Years

Start: 09/2015

End: 02/2017

Project partners: DIW (Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung/ German Institute for Economic Research).

Sponsor DIW / EU


Further information:

RealValue aims to demonstrate how local small-scale energy storage could bring benefits to the energy market. The project will support the development of technologies and business models for the integration of small-scale storage as an aggregated controllable load within the power system. Thus, RealValue will further enhance the synergies between the two different energy sectors, heat and electricity, which is one of the main challenges for a successful reduction of fossil fuel usage.

Within this framework, EBC evaluates the potential of using the structural thermal mass of buildings as a short-term thermal storage. This concept is based on the dynamic control of the buildings heating systems, allowing to increase the temperatures of every single building zone as well as the flexible usage of thermal activated building components (e.g. floor heating, concrete core activation) according to the demand of the power system. The analysis comprises the development of complex physical building models, which will allow a precise estimation of the thermal storage capacity of any given building. The storage process itself will be controlled by model-predictive self-learning control algorithms, which should be designed in a straightforward way, allowing the integration of such control in every building without knowledge about the precise building physics.

Furthermore, a trial-based lab analysis of comfort perception will be designed and performed to estimate the impact of the thermal conditions resulting from dynamic thermal activation of buildings upon the resident’s thermal comfort. This analysis will allow to define the boundary conditions for thermal activation, by indicating the temperature ranges which can be utilized in the intended temperature control scheme. Additionally, this study with hundreds of subjects will evaluate the impact of the residents’ activities upon the perception of dynamic heating conditions. Finally, the general attitude towards such a heating approach will be observed.