The Flexiciency project came about on a European level to encourage energy efficiency all over the continent by means of design and development of pilot projects in different cities. This is an initiative implemented by 18 partners belonging to 10 European Union countries that have a solid presence on the retail energy market, including Endesa Distribución and e-Distribuzione.
Four distribution system operators (in Spain, Italy, France and Sweden) with intelligent measurement infrastructures installed have undertaken five large-scale demonstrations to demonstrate that the deployment of new services (from advanced monitoring to local energy control) and flexibility services can accelerate thanks to an open European market. In this way we also wish to open the energy market to new actors in the European Union.
Málaga is an efficient example
In Spain, Endesa Distribución has led the demonstration carried out in the city of Málaga. Málaga town council that forms part of the consortium is also in this case the end user to whom the benefits of the project are offered.
Flexiciency has focused on validation of a series of innovation services by means of intelligent networks in the city, based on three fundamental pillars:
- Monitoring of consumption values in municipal buildings.
- Intelligent control of loads in a simulated home.
- Improved stability and safety of the distributor network.
Monitoring of consumption values in different Málaga town council buildings has enabled performing real-time follow-up to improve the energy efficiency of each building. Data from libraries, schools and offices are transferred to a platform from which it is evaluated where it is necessary to reduce power or consumption.
Thanks to this advanced monitoring by means of installation of devices in the field and other systems developed during the project, users can modify their behaviour and adopt energy efficiency measures. The change in behaviour facilitates an economic benefit given that energy consumed or power contracted is reduced. Implementation of energy efficiency measures, such as, for example, replacement of LED lighting or movement sensors can entail significant savings (up to 40% of consumption of energy for lighting).
As for control of charges, a home has been tested with manageable loads that have photovoltaic panels, energy storage and a bidirectional electrical vehicle charger. The idea is to reduce energy consumption by means of manageable and bidirectional loads that enable both charging the vehicle and redirecting excess energy to the home.
Efficiency, flexibility and stability
The third kind of service is flexibility, which is offered to the distributor company to attain improvements in the network’s safety and stability. Therefore, there is a microgrid (unit for distributed management of energy that collates generation and consumption systems under the same management system) with manageable elements.
Batteries, photovoltaic generation, wind generation, recharging points for electrical vehicle, etc. All these aspects have enabled monitoring the power, tension and frequency in the Málaga seafront promenade to achieve improvements in the network’s safety and stability. One of the project’s ultimate conclusions is that the flexibility offered to the distributor would improve if new elements are added, such as static ion-lithium batteries or a greater capacity for renewable generation.
Optimised operation of elements of the intelligent network, such as storage, recharging points for electrical vehicles or renewable generation enables increasing energy efficiency and flattening out the demand curve, thereby reducing power peaks during high demand periods.
The three pillars of the Flexiciency project are translated into three specific benefits: energy efficiency, reduction in consumption, network stability and safety. With initiatives like this we aim to use the most innovative technology to get ever closer to a new model based on greater energy efficiency. Flexiciency is a step forward on the path towards this goal.