18 January 2018
FHP – Flexible Heat and Power project


Winter 2017

Dynamic Coalitions of distribution grid connected Power to Heat resources providing local and system level services.

The FHP – Flexible Heat and Power project develops a standards-based multi-stakeholder multi-agent platform that enables the trading of flexibility provided by Heat Pumps. The focus is on heat pumps in buildings (residential, commercial, industrial), as well as heat pumps associated with a district level – seasonal – heat storage solution provided by ECOVAT. The prime selected business use cases relate to the mitigation of local and system level RES curtailment which is undesirable from societal and environmental point of view, and forms a barrier for increased RES investments. But the developed platform is capable of supporting other business use cases as well, both in the Day-Ahead /Intra-Day and the real-time time frame.

The work in the project is organized around four pillars.

Pillar 1: Dynamic Coalition Manager at the heart of a standard-based Multi-Agent System
The Dynamic Coalition Manager is a specialization of the aggregator role. It performs location aware aggregation of Power-to-Heat flexibility provided by buildings and the ECOVAT, and offers this to the DSO for local technical RES curtailment mitigation, or the BRP for economic RES curtailment mitigation. There is a bi-directional information exchange with the flex providers: the latter provide information on their optimal baseline consumption plan and available flex with expected activation cost, and the former communicates the activation decision which is a plan for the next n timesteps. The pool of resources that can be used by the DCM is dynamic, i.e. flex providers can decide freely when and to whom (if there are multiple DCMs) they offer their flex.

Pillar 2: Human expert-free multi-zone modelling of dynamic thermal behaviour
To determine the optimal baseline consumption pattern as well as the available flexibility, a combination of grey-box thermal modelling with machine-learning and optimization algorithms is used. Specifically, a methodology is developed that creates high quality multi-zone models that learn the amount of relevant zones, their adjacency and their relevant parameters in an automated data driven manner without requiring human expert intervention. This will provide a replicable solution that can be easily deployed.

Pillar 3: Optimal flex dispatch solution
Based on forecasts of load and (RES) generation, and a local grid model, the DSO performs an analysis on whether, where and when local grid problems can be expected. This results in a flex request formulation towards the Dynamic Coalition Manager. This flex request contains information on the minimal required flex activations (e.g. load shifting) that are needed to prevent the forecasted problem, as well as constraints for the acceptable load shifting solutions. The Dynamic Coalition Manager(s) determine an optimal flex dispatching plan for each of its available flex resources that adheres to the flex request, using information on the available flexibility and cost of activation of its current dynamic coalition.

Pillar 4: Grid Flexible Heatpump
Currently heatpumps are primarily designed for efficiency, not for offering flexibility services. Using them for flexibility services typically is done in an indirect manner, forcing them into a certain power consumption regime based on their heating curves and sensor overrides. In the FHP project we explore and prototype ways to control heatpumps in a direct manner in relation to the desired consumption profi le. Besides, we will analyse how to increase their flexible operation without impacting their lifetime or safety.


Contact Details:
Web Page: www.fhp-h2020.eu
E-mail: chris.caerts@vito.be

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731231