Electricity Usage in Smart Village Skarpnes

Electricity Usage in Smart Village Skarpnes

The goal of the project "Electricity Use in the Smart Village Skarpnes" is to examine how the electrical distribution network can be designed and managed in an optimal way in the future, where new requirements in the building sector implies an increasing proportion of new "near-zero energy" houses. The introduction of low-energy housing with local energy production from photovoltaic systems is expected to provide changing consumption patterns. Although the total annual energy consumption is low, it is still unclear whether power consumption peaks will remain high.

The project will collect data from the Skarpnes housing development outside Arendal, where the developer Skanska has built 5 detached zero houses which have equipped with sensors for detailed measurement of how energy and power consumption is distributed across various loads in the residence, as well as measurement of indoor climate and weather data. The houses have solar panels (PV) on the roof and are equipped with sensors for solar radiation and PV temperature in order to analyze the performance of the solar installations.

The project collaborates with Scanmatic for the design and installation of the technical measurement equipment, and with Sintef through the projects ZEB (Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings) and EBLE-Low Energy Programme (evaluation of housing with low power requirement). Data from the buildings will be collected over a timescale of 2 years to reflect the variation in consumption as a function of season.

Based on the collected data, this project will examine how the electricity production from the photovoltaic system coincides with power variations in the consumption profiles of the households, and how this affects the grid. If the resulting power peaks are equal to or larger in the zero energy houses at Skarpnes than in traditional homes, we want to identify what kind of equipment is causing this and how it may be controlled to reduce peaks in power demand.

The University of Agder and Teknova have in collaboration with Agder Energi Nett developed procedures for pattern recognition to identify power peaks in consumption profiles for electricity customers. The work has been published and presented at a Norwegian informatics conference and an international conference on artificial intelligence. A web-based visual data tool for automatic identification of consumption peaks has also been developed. The University of Agder has presented a poster on a German workshop for integration of solar power. Here the Skarpnes project was used as a basis for an assessment of the technical and economic aspects of grid-connected PV systems with different options for battery capacity.

Agder Energi Nett has worked with the specifications for the equipment and procedures for voltage quality and power variation measurements with high temporal resolution at Skarpnes. The equipment is now in place in the residences and in the local grid substation. Of particular interest are results that show the coincidence factor for the aggregated power consumption in the village, and how the residential area affects the substation during different time periods of the day and year. The project is of great value to Agder Energi Nett, who will use the results to evaluate the impact of new zero-energy homes with regard to future planning and efficient operation of the grid.

A database consisting of measurements from Skarpnes has been established during 2015. After quality assurance, the data series will be analyzed to build a foundation for the anticipated power variations in electricity consumption and the production from the PV rooftop systems. The growing database will contribute to a better fit between the model and the actual consumption patterns of the zero energy homes at Skarpnes.

The data collected from the Skarpnes residential area is unique. This is the first zero-energy housing development in the Nordic countries. The houses are equipped with instrumentation that detects real consumption data distributed across different electrical circuits and simultaneous production data from the PV system, with high time resolution allowing for the detection of rapid variations. This kind of data is not available from other known sources in Norway. All houses are of the same type, the same living space and are located within the same geographical area. This makes it easier to compare the residences and identify trends. The houses have different orientations in azimuth angle (East-West), which will result in somewhat different PV production and thus better insight in coincidence factor variations between PV production and consumption for otherwise identical conditions.

The high resolution Elspec data shows transients with very high current and rapid changes in power quality parameters. AMS is unlikely to register these short duration events.