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Energy storage in renewable-based residential energy hubs
Mohammad Hossein Barmayoon

Energy storage systems are expected as a near-term solution for renewable energy application in the residential energy hubs. Within this context, this study investigates the feasibility of using storage systems in improving the technical and financial performance of the residential renewable-based energy hub. A new approach has been proposed in this study in which economic dispatch problem has been formulated for an energy hub including both electrical and heat storage system. The proposed approach determines the optimal supply of energy demand and storage system operation to minimise the total energy cost of the hub. The economic benefit of storage system due to energy cost saving and emission reduction has been determined and the investment payback of the storage system have also evaluated in the proposed approach. The proposed approach has been applied to 12 different residential energy hubs and the impact of energy tariff and storage size has been analysed. The obtained simulation results demonstrate the importance of correctly modelling the hub elements in evaluating the storage system benefit in residential energy hub.

Increasing application of renewable energy resources, energy storage systems, distributed generation units and combined heat and power generation (CHP) technologies have brought into existence the interaction between different energy infrastructures. While the energy infrastructures have been yet independently planned and operated, new concepts, methods and tools are required to study the interaction between the energy infrastructures.

The concept of ‘Energy Hub’ has been introduced into properly model the synergies among different forms of energy. Energy hub is defined as an interface between different energy infrastructures in which energy carriers can be stored, converted or transferred within it. Energy hub intakes various types of energy carrier at the input ports, connected to the energy infrastructures, to supply the energy demand at the output ports. Within the hub, the energy is converted and conditioned using energy conversion technologies. Recent researches have focused on technical and financial study of multi-carrier energy systems using the energy hub approach to evaluate efficacy of such a combined or integrated approach.

Evaluation and optimisation of the energy flow in the building has been well evaluated in the available research works. Bianchi et al. have investigated decentralised CHP systems comprised of an innovative CHP unit, an auxiliary boiler and electric as well as thermal storage in the residential context.

Some recent research works have applied the energy hub concept to analyse the building energy flow. A two-level hierarchical scheme has been proposed in [9] in which the household energy consumption has been optimised at the micro-hub level while the set of houses is controlled at the macro-hub level by the system operator. Optimal size of a combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) system for a house has been determined in using the energy hub concept.

Taking into account the concept of energy hub, the authors in has tried to demonstrate the benefits of employing renewable-based DGs in the urban areas for procuring or supplying both electricity and heating demands of the consumers. Analysis of energy flow in the residential loads has been implemented in by the concept of energy hub.

This paper is aimed to perform a comprehensive study on the effect of energy storage application on the optimal operation of residential energy hub. A new approach has been proposed in this paper in which the economic dispatch (ED) problem for the residential hub is formulated and solved to investigate the abilities of different storage systems in improving energy efficiency, reducing the energy cost and alleviating the emission cost. The ED of the hub is modelled as a non-linear programming optimisation problem. A residential area in Iran is considered and different case studies are introduced to show that how the presence of storage units can affect the technical and financial aspects of this system. Both of electrical and heat storages are considered in the hub to lend the operator a hand in more efficiently use of the available energy resources.

This paper has presented an approach to investigate the impact of electrical and thermal storage systems in improving technical and financial performance of a residential energy hub. Modelling the energy flow of a home as an energy hub, the formulation of ED problem in the home has been extracted. The benefit and investment payback of storage system application in various study cases have been analysed. Results showed that the hub elements affects directly the benefit and payback of storage systems. It was also observed that a great share of storage benefit is due to the reduction in carbon emission and the storage benefits generally increase with increase in the energy tariff. However, selling the electricity to the grid can reduce the storage benefit. CHP size generally have positive impact on the storage benefit while in some cases it might has negative impact on the storage benefit. The impact of variation in the electricity demand and PV generation on the storage benefit can be positive, negative or negligible, depending on the elements of the hub. In particular, CHP application in the hub results to protect the storage benefit against the variation in PV generation.




Mohammad Hossein Barmayoon currently works at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology. Mohammad Hossein does research in Electrical Engineering. Their most recent publication is 'Energy Storage in Renewable-Based Residential Energy Hubs'.

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