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Multi Energy Systems within the smart grid era

Scientific organization
Fraunhofer Institute IFF Magdeburg
Academic degree
Research Manager
Scientific discipline
Machinery & Energy
Multi Energy Systems within the smart grid era
The integration of volatile renewable energy sources, such as wind and sun, into the electric grid is the main challenge of the coming years. Multi Energy Systems (MES) may be a solution. In such systems the electricity generated by renewable energy sources is converted and stored in other forms such as gas and/or thermal. The stored electricity can be used for covering the electric and thermal loads as well as those due to the mobility.
The speech aims to give an overview of the Multi Energy Systems pointing out the advantages of developing them within the era of smart grid.
Smart Grid, Renewable Energy Sources, Energy Storage Systems, Multi Energy Systems

The European energy strategy for the coming decades aims to increase to usage of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) for the generation of electric and thermal power. Among the RES, wind and solar energy will be the most used sources. By 2020 it is forecasted that 220 GW of wind power plants and 390 of photovoltaic plants will be installed in Europe However, these sources produce power not when it is demanded, but instead when particular meteorological conditions are met. Integrating the power generated by wind and solar into the electric network will be, therefore, a big challenge. It will involve the use of new solutions for optimally decoupling the power generated by renewable energy sources from the power demanded. Multi energy systems and virtual power plants are the most candidate solutions. Both of them contemplate the use of energy storage systems, as well as the use of demand side and demand response programs. In  multi energy systems the stored power can be released in a different form compared to the original one. It is the case of the so called “power to gas” or “power to heat” storage solutions. In the “power to gas” the electric power is converted into gas (hydrogen and/or methane) and released into the natural gas infrastructure (pipelines, caverns). The “power to heat” the electric power is converted into hot water, steam or even ice and released into the thermal infrastructure (pipelines, storage).

The speech aims to point out the contribution which the multi energy system may give for integrating high amount of volatile renewable energy sources.