Energy Planning, multi-energy systems and Local Energy Communities

In the transition towards the future energy system, being it in an industrial, urban or rural context, a set of boundary conditions of diverse nature have to be considered in the decision making processes. Such conditions are not only technical but are also related to the economical, social and governance spheres, with regards to local and national energy policies.
In the last years, the research activities of the group “Fluid Machines and Energy Systems” of Università Politecnica delle Marche have been focused on the optimal planning and management of energy systems, with a particular focus on the synergies among the different energy carriers (electricity, natural gas, district heating and cooling, water, electric mobility).
In particular, the group developed mathematical/software tools and methodologies for the optimal planning of the energy conversion and storage systems mix of urban districts, with the aim of addressing different objectives: minimization of costs, minimization of emissions, maximization of renewable energy sources self-consumption etc.
Once the optimal design is defined, the same tools and techniques can be used to implement optimal coordination strategies for the real-time operation of such complex systems (model predictive control, MPC). The tools developed by the group use a wide set of mathematical and programming techniques: from MILP (Mixed Integer Linear Programming) to heuristics such as GA (Genetic Algorithms) or PSO (Particle Swarm Optimization).
The group also uses such tools for local energy policy consulting activities.