News – What`s happening in energy research

read short description
subscribe News

Design and operation of micro-CHP systems are to be optimised using methodological and experimental approaches. The figure shows a micro-CHP system put to the test at TU Munich.
© TU München, LfE
Mini- and micro-CHP systems

TU Dresden developed the concept of a regional, virtual power plant based on mini- and micro-CHP technology. It was simulated, and optimised in terms of automation technology, by TU Berkadamie Freiberg.
© TU Dresden

Schematic comparison of a conventional large-scale power plant and a regional virtual power plant.
© TU Dresden

Virtually linking mini-CHP systems

Linked decentralised combined heat and power plants (CHP) and electric loads will be able to participate in the electricity market in the future by forming a regional and virtual power plant. This will compensate for power fluctuations and create more flexibility while being economic and efficient. The research association ‘Thermal and electric CHP linking’, coordinated by TU Dresden, presented their results.

In Germany, decentralised energy systems are becoming increasingly important. Therefore, the focus is shifting towards mini- and micro-CHPs, as used in private households and small commercial enterprises in particular. The research association ‘Thermal/electrical linking of CHPs’ („Thermische/elektrische KWK-Vernetzung“) therefore looked at the interplay between these systems and electrical loads. From 2011 to 2014, a research group at TU Dresden and Bergakademie Freiberg examined the feasibility of implementing a so-called ‘regional, virtual power plant’ on the basis of CHP systems in buildings.

Decentralised power supply concepts were developed to link the various heat and electricity loads. Mini- and micro-CHP systems would be able to participate in the electricity market as long as it meets the requirements. Their economic feasibility is already given in part, but they still must be optimised for a wider range of applications. Local and public utilities in particular have reservations about this technology. This is why the findings will be put into practice by 2017. A new prototype for a regional and virtual power plant is being developed for the field trial initiated by Verbundnetz Gas AG.

More information is available on the homepage of EnEff:Wärme

Virtual power plant based on mini- and micro-CHP technology (not yet translated)

Optimising the operation of micro-CHP systems



BINE subscription

Subscribe to newsletter


Project coordination
TU Dresden, IET

Energy service provider
VNG - Verbundnetz Gas AG

Sub-project ‘Optimising mini- and micro-CHP systems’
TU München, IfE


Optimising the operation of micro-CHP systems
Project report on EnEff:Wärme

Projektvisitenkarte auf der Webseite der Forschungsinitiative

Zukunftsfähige Stromnetze
Web portal for the research initiative on power grids with the latest research and development news

Virtual power plant

In virtual power plants, decentralised power generation systems, thermal storage systems and controllable loads are connected to a communication centre. Typically, they feed electricity into low- and medium-voltage grids. The integration of mini- and micro-CHP systems ensures that this concept is interesting for urban settlement areas. Potential users of a regional virtual power plant are therefore primarily municipal utilities and regional and national energy suppliers.