Assessing the Flexibility of Demand Response and Sector Coupling for Efficient Power System Integration of Variable Renewable Generation

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School of Electrical Engineering | Doctoral thesis (article-based) | Defence date: 2022-04-01
Degree programme
103 + app. 131
Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL THESES, 32/2022
Due to the rising concerns on global warming, renewable electricity generation is expected to form a considerable share in the future generation assortment worldwide. Given the fluctuating nature of renewable energy sources (RESs), their integration would adversely affect the power system balance. Addressing this challenge requires smart and flexible solutions. Demand response (DR) is a cost-effective load shaping tool that can follow the intermittent generation profile. The associated benefits can be stepped up by using excess renewable generation for the cross-sectoral integration, such as the power to heat (P2H) coupling that has the advantage of mitigating carbon emissions in both electricity and district heat (DH) sub-sectors. The objective of this dissertation is to assess the potential advantages offered by DR of thermostatically controlled loads (TCLs), P2H coupling and their tandem for efficient RESs integration. The goal of the dissertation is segmented into four major tasks. A comprehensive realization of the up- and down-ramping of TCLs is studied in the first task considering comfort priorities. The second task proposes an aggregator-oriented framework directed towards minimizing power imbalances and operating costs in a microgrid through thermostatic load management. The third task establishes a unique tool to optimize P2H coupling by harnessing the DR of HVAC loads in a housing community. Finally, the last task proposes a generic framework for the system-wide coupling among electricity, DH, and transport sub-sectors by utilizing the flexibility of the DH system to mitigate carbon emissions. To fulfil the objectives, the proposed models are simulated considering Finnish systems. The following deductions can be drawn from the results. The flexibility of TCLs is constrained by the load ratings, thermal comfort choices and respective demands. Activating DR substantially reduces power imbalances and operational costs. It is also revealed that mitigating curtailments and emissions by employing a deep borehole for P2H coupling is value-added under DR, as it also enables DH customers to participate in DR program despite flat tariff. Additionally, utilizing the deep borehole together with a small thermal storage can attain a carbon-free DH system. Finally, the inherent flexibility of the DH system has the potential to integrate a greater share of RESs, which enables utilizing the excess renewable generation in other sub-sectors, such as partial electrification of the DH and transport sub-sectors. The developed frameworks can be utilized by load aggregators, system operators, and policymakers to get a deep insight into the DR opportunities, the advantages of cross-sectoral integration for better integration of RESs to accomplish carbon-neutral energy systems as emphasized in the European Union climate strategy.
Supervising professor
Lehtonen, Matti, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Finland
Thesis advisor
Pourakbari-Kasmaei, Mahdi, Asst. Prof., Aalto University, Finland
carbon emissions, district heat, optimization, power to heat, renewable energy integration, smart grid, uncertainty
Other note
  • [Publication 1]: A.A. Bashir, M. Pourakbari-Kasmaei, A. Safdarian and M. Lehtonen, “Matching of local load with on-site PV production in a grid-connected residential building”, Energies, volume 11, issue 9, 2409, 2018.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.3390/en11092409 View at publisher
  • [Publication 2]: A.A. Bashir and M. Lehtonen, “Day-Ahead Rolling Window Optimization of Islanded Microgrid with Uncertainty”, in IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference Europe (ISGT-Europe), Sarajevo, October 21-25, 2018.
    DOI: 10.1109/ISGTEurope.2018.8571781 View at publisher
  • [Publication 3]: A.A. Bashir, M. Pourakbari-Kasmaei, J. Contreras, and M. Lehtonen, “A novel energy scheduling framework for reliable and economic operation of islanded and grid-connected microgrids”, Electric Power Systems Research, vol 171, pp. 85-96, 2019.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.epsr.2019.02.010 View at publisher
  • [Publication 4]: A.A. Bashir, A. Lund, M. Pourakbari-Kasmaei and M. Lehtonen, “Minimizing Wind Power Curtailment and Carbon Emissions by Power to Heat Sector Coupling – A Stackelberg Game Approach”, IEEE Access, vol 8, pp. 211892-211911, 2020.
    DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2020.3039041 View at publisher
  • [Publication 5]: A.A. Bashir, A. Lund, M. Pourakbari-Kasmaei and M. Lehtonen, “Optimizing power and heat sector coupling for the implementation of carbon- free communities”, Energies, vol 14, issue 7, 1911, 2021.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.3390/en14071911 View at publisher
  • [Publication 6]: A.A. Bashir and M. Lehtonen, “Optimal coordination of aggregated hydro-storage with residential demand response in highly renewable generation power system: The case study of Finland”, Energies, vol 12, issue 6, 2019.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.3390/en12061037 View at publisher
  • [Publication 7]: A.A. Bashir, J. Jokisalo, J. Heljo, A. Safdarian and M. Lehtonen, “Harnessing the Flexibility of District Heating System for Integrating Extensive Share of Renewable Energy Sources in Energy Systems”, IEEE Access, vol 9, pp. 116407-116426, 2021.
    Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc:
    DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3105829 View at publisher