Background

Power networks are becoming increasingly dependent on renewables and distributed energy systems. We expect this trend to continue.

Municipal energy systems, small-scale producers, microgrids, large-scale energy-intensive industries, and multi-unit conventional power plants can all become more efficient by setting up and operating as VPPs – Virtual Power Plants or Virtual Power Pools.

The operators of these localised systems need to have full control so that they can optimise their energy assets, ensuring greater reliability and profitability.

Aim

We analysed the needs of a broad range of VPP operators and looked at the features of existing software platforms to determine what our solution should include.

In particular, we investigated whether any of the existing functionality could be enhanced to make a system that was more flexible, more scalable, and/or more reliable.

It was clear that VPP software had a very simple primary function: to manage the flow of the generated and stored power to maximise revenue. So, we looked at doing that even more intelligently, automatically, and efficiently.

Approach

The Enertek team built a ‘wish list’ of the features and functionality that the optimal VPP software platform would include.

At a high level, this list included:

  • Ease of addition of assets to the network
  • Simple control of each asset and grouping of assets
  • Clear monitoring of individual assets and the system as a whole
  • Automated response to price signals from the energy market

We then looked at how we might improve the intelligence of the software and created more advanced algorithms to continuously analyse data from the VPP’s assets, demand from the grid, and pricing from the energy market.

We also looked at ways to improve the management of assets and simplify controls.

Solution

Alion Algorithm is our VPP software platform that enables intelligent forecasting and energy trading, with greater flexibility and scalability, and faster response times.