VPP energy efficiency Demand Side Response Negawatts Virtual Power Plant
Virtual Power Plant company has developed smart tools to adjust the consumption of electricity and heat in buildings to their variable occupancy while maintaining comfort for users. The benefits for customers are savings on electricity and heat, and in the near future, the revenues from the provision of services to the energy market by active energy consumers.
Ventilation, air conditioning and heating systems (HVAC) account for over 50% of the costs of energy used in European office buildings, entertainment halls and conference centres. Contemporary HVAC control is not adjusted in real-time to the occupancy of spaces, weather or situation on the energy market. This may result in irrational energy consumption or lack of appropriate comfort levels.
Partial shifting of consumption to off-peak hours on the wholesale market can generate savings for energy providers who supply the optimized building. This allows for a lower average price of the consumed energy, but also reduces risks of blackout by relieving the energy system during the hours of the highest energy demand.
VPPlant has developed a service called Enabler DSR. This research and development project was implemented as part of the organized by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) BRIdge Alfa programme - as an innovative technology on a European scale, which among other things, is characterized by:
1) Modelling of thermodynamic processes of the building and adjusting HVAC control in real-time to buildings occupancy, weather forecasts and signals from the energy market;
2) Low-invasive integration with BMS systems, thanks to which the first stage of optimization brings relatively quick results and there is no threat of warranty loss from the general contractor or subcontractors;
3) Preparation of optimized building infrastructure in order to provide Demand Side Response (DSR) services in collaboration with the companies which are trading electricity in Poland.
Enabler DSR is a hardware and software overlay for the traditional building automation systems. Enabler DSR controller (located in the optimized building) works autonomously. It can also be supported by optimisation modules of central Enabler DSR application, which is located in the VPPlants Operations Centre. Optimizers module from a specific building periodically receives data from the Operations Centre such as weather forecasts, current situation on the energy market or patterns of optimized control scenarios.
Enabler DSR implementation is divided into stages, the first of which is conducting analysis of optimization potential through the analysis of technical condition, occupancy profile / energy consumption in collaboration with the technical service of the building. Schedule of Enabler DSR implementation depends on the results of the preliminary analysis, which is performer a few weeks after granting access to the information mentioned above. In this period, Enabler DSR activation is performed in so-called „learning” mode of the building without changing HVAC schedules. The results of these measurements are made available to the customer after they are processed in the form of information panel in a secure intranet. Conclusions from the analysis are made available to the applicable departments specified by the building manager. The application of Enabler DSR controller increases the utility of traditional BMS systems by supporting property and facility management services.
VPPlant business model is based on benefit sharing system, the benefits being savings resulting from Enabler DSR implementation. Performed actions are free of charge for the building manager and the results of analysis are subject to confidentiality agreement, which is signed by the participants of the project before any work is done.