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Many small units respond together like a large power plant
23.07.2013

Optimally marketing electricity from CHP plants

Combined heat and power (CHP) plants can also base their electricity generation on the fluctuating market prices. This means that the plants are oriented in accordance with the electricity demand but require other concepts for the local heating requirement. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Intelligently controlling CHP plants” (08/2013) presents a model project in which around 800 mini-CHP units are controlled at their respective, decentralised locations by a joint control room. The plants preferably work at times when the prices are high on the Energy Exchange. Surplus heat is stored.

Newly developed control software, which has been specially developed for the research project, ensures optimal operation between the electricity and heat generation. Important components include the forecasting programs that can estimate both the current electricity price development and the heating requirement up to three days in advance. Although the CHP units primarily generate electricity, the heating recipients on the ground are always guaranteed that their requirements are covered. For this purpose powerful thermal storage systems are integrated into the concept that store the surplus heat generated during the electricity production to meet later peak demands. If that is insufficient on very cold days, the CHP plants begin operating regardless of the electricity price.

The LichtBlick SE company conceived and implemented the project. It has developed a mini-CHP unit in conjunction with Volkswagen AG. This is operated with natural gas and has an electrical output of 19 kW and a thermal output of 36 kW.

The BINE Projektinfo brochure, which can be obtained free of charge from the BINE Information Service at FIZ Karlsruhe, is available online at www.bine.info or by calling +49 (0)228 92379-0. The brochure cover and additional image material can also be downloaded from the press section in this web portal.

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Optimally marketing electricity from CHP plants

The BINE-Projektinfo „Intelligently controlling CHP plants“ (08/2013)

Minicover
(300 dpi, tiff, 1.4 MB)

Abbildung 1: Die Leitwarte behält die Preisentwicklung an der Strombörse und die Wärmenachfrage der Betreiber im Blick. © Lichtblick SE)

Figure 1
The control room keeps an eye on the price development on the Energy Exchange and the heat demand of the operators. (© Lichtblick SE)