Rapid decarbonization of the energy supply is necessary to limit climate change. As the largest end-user of energy, the heating sector is a key area for action. Due to limited potentials of renewable heat sources, low-CO2 heat will essentially be provided by the electrification of heat generation in the future (power-to-heat). However, power-to-heat will also play an important role in the future electricity sector. Since heat can be stored relatively easily and cost-effectively, this creates great potential for flexibility in electricity demand. For example, large amounts of heat could be generated and stored at times when the wind is strong, which would then also be available at times when the wind is low.
Heat networks are an essential tool for tapping this flexibility potential. By connecting various components, they enable flexible balancing between heat generators, storage facilities and consumers, depending on availability. For the operation of the grids, this means that they are no longer used as pure distribution grids for heat from uniformly operated large power plants. While the flexibilization of electrical grids has already been advanced and researched for several years (keyword “smart grids”), there is still a lot of catching up to do in the area of flexible heating grids. The EnEff:Wärme – MeFlexWärme project is therefore developing and testing new concepts and methods for the three research areas of “grid transparency”, “flexibility control” and “mathematical optimization”, each in relation to heating grids.
Research topics ETA:
- Developing a technical concept, simulation model and operating strategies for an energy flexible heat transfer station
- Integration of the concept as a local agent in a heating market and techno-economic evaluation of the overall system
This project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection. We thank for the opportunity to work on this project.