Electricity demand in districts
The estimation of electricity demands is a prerequisite for holistic, energy-efficient planning of districts. Electricity demands primarily include plug loads and charging power of e-mobility.
Smart power supply systems in districts make it possible to use decentralized renewable energies efficiently. When planning district systems, it is crucial to correctly assess the demands of buildings and other consumers at an early planning stage. Electricity demands result from plug loads, industrial processes, e-mobility, and electrified heating and cooling systems. Plug loads, also called general electricity, describes electricity needed to operate everyday equipment such as computers, lighting, televisions or refrigerators. Relevant studies as well as standard load profiles can be used to estimate demand and generate annual profiles. Electricity demands for industrial plants and processes, on the other hand, can often only be estimated on the basis of measurement data. Load profiles for industrial consumers are also very individual and can therefore not be taken from statistical surveys.
Local power generation and consumption
District energy systems often aim to fully exploit the energy generation potential in the district and to use generated electricity locally. This reduces the necessary electricity import and increases the self-sufficiency of the district. For this reason, microgrids are increasingly being implemented. Microgrids are small power grids that are set up and operated separately from the public power grid. They are considered crucial for the energy transition. Storage technologies such as batteries make it possible to shift power generation and demand in time, thereby further increasing the share of locally generated power. The coupling of the power grid with district heating grids through so-called power-to-heat technologies (P2H) can also be useful in order to use surplus electricity in the heating or cooling sector and thus increase the flexibility of the power grid operation.
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