Moving towards a sustainable heat supply calls for decentralized and smart heating grid solutions. One promising concept is the decentralized feed-in by consumers equipped with their own small production units (prosumers). Prosumers can provide an added value regarding security of supply, emission reduction and economic welfare, but in order to achieve this, in addition to advanced hydraulic control strategies also superordinate control strategies and appropriate market models become crucial. In this article we study methods to find a global optimum for the local energy community or at least an acceptable approximation to it. In contrast to standard centralized control approaches, based either on expert rules or mixed integer linear optimization, we adopt an agent-based, decentralized approach that allows for incorporation of nonlinear phenomena. While studied here in small-scale systems, this approach is particularly attractive for larger systems, since with an increasing number of interacting units, the optimization problem becomes more complex and the computational effort for centralized approaches increases dramatically. The agent-based optimization approach is compared to centralized optimization of the same prosumer-based setting as well as to a purely central setup. The comparison is based on the quality of the optimization solution, the computational effort and the scalability. For the comparison of these three approaches, three different scenarios have been set up and analysed for four seasons. In this analysis, no approach has emerged as clearly superior to the others; thus each of them is justified in certain situations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- !!Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- !!Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- !!Control and Systems Engineering
- !!Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment