The main purpose of the Intelligent Energy Management Challenge is to find solutions that manage the electricity infrastructure of a building. This contributes to a sustainable energy system and opens up for attractive business models that stimulates a wide spread implementation. Besides the recognition award there is a possibility for test and procurement from the participating Swedish Municipalities.
The prices of solar cells have dropped significantly in recent years. An increasing number of electricity consumers are investing in their own solar energy production, hence becoming so-called prosumers. The action of a prosumer to consume energy that he/she is producing is called self consumption.
As the share of variable renewable electricity production increases, the demand for flexible energy consumption and storage is expected to increase. For some solar energy prosumers, e.g. municipalities with buildings with excess solar electricity production, it might already today be advantageous to facilitate flexible energy consumption and introduce storage in their energy systems in order to increase their self consumption of energy.
The electricity infrastructure of a building of such a prosumer consists of the following elements:
- Solar cells that produce solar electricity
- Electricity consumption devices like air conditioners, heat pumps, heating and other electrical devices. Part of this consumption can be shifted in time
- Electrical energy storage devices like electric cars which are connected temporarily to the electric infrastructure and which have to be fully charged at a particular moment in time
- Electrical energy storage devices that are connected permanently to the electric infrastructure
- A connection to the grid, which is used to sink excess electricity, and source electricity not provided by the solar cells
The main purpose of the Challenge is to find intelligent energy management solutions that manage the energy infrastructure of a building with the objective to increase the self consumption of solar energy produced in a building, and as a result reduce the amount of electricity sourced from the grid.The energy management solution can achieve this by controlling the different elements in this infrastructure, like:
- Determining when the flexible energy consumption devices are switched on/off
- Determining the charging levels of (temporary and permanent) energy storage devices (existing and additional ones)