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COMPLETED PROJECTS

CoSSMic (Collaborating Smart Solar-Powered Microgrids)

  • Funding institution: EU Framework Programme FP7 for Research and Innovation
  • Support code: FP7 project no. 608806
  • Amount of funding: € 625,000.00 (share received by ISC Konstanz)
  • Duration: 10/2013 to 09/2016
  • Consortium: ISC Konstanz, SINTEF, City of Konstanz, Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli, Province of Caserta, University of Oslo, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Sunny Solartechnik, Boukje.com
  • Official project website: http://cossmic.eu
     

Objectives

In order to cope with day-to-day and day-night fluctuations in the energy production of PV installations and other renewable energy sources (RES), grid operators are required to maintain variable back-up systems. Most of these systems in Europe are currently coal-fired or baseload nuclear power plants that counteract the positive effects of RES. The CoSSMic project aims at reducing the required energy supplied by such conventional backup systems.

For this purpose, the project’s research team is developing intelligent microgrids for households and virtual neighbourhoods that exploit as much of the locally produced energy as possible. If local power storage and grid-buffering were implemented on a large scale, this would have many positive effects:

  • Less fossil-fuel-based and nuclear backup power is needed.
  • Large power companies can plan power deliveries more accurately, since the amount of renewable energy is more predictable.
  • Grid investments and transfer costs are reduced.
  • Homeowners benefit from lower electricity bills while having more control over the way in which their produced energy is being used.
     

Description

CoSSMic aims at enabling higher rates (above 50%) for the self-consumption of decentralised renewable energy production. In order to achieve this aim, the project team will develop an innovative autonomic system based on information and communication technology (ICT). This system will control the usage, production and storage of energy in microgrids.

A microgrid is typically confined to a smart home or an office building. It includes local energy generation and storage of solar power, linked to a number of power-consuming devices. In addition, electric vehicles can connect and disconnect at random, as a varying storage capacity is possible. In CoSSMic, microgrids are combined with an intelligent ICT-based solution for peer-to-peer collaboration between various microgrids in a virtual neighbourhood and for collaboration with the public power grid. This collaboration includes sharing information and exchanging excess power production and storage capacity. In order to smooth out the variation in load towards the grid, the system will optimise the exploitation of energy sources and sinks in the neighbourhood.

All of this will happen in accordance with policies defined by the home owners and in accordance with relevant information, such as input from weather stations and weather forecasts as well as habits and plans of inhabitants. The smart microgrids’ behaviour will be governed by reward-based business models. These models will ensure sufficient rewards to those users willing to share resources and to collaborate in order to optimise the overall working of the power grid.