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A multi-vector community energy system integrating a heating network, electricity grid and PV production to manage an electrified community

Han, Ming En; Alston, Mark; Gillott, Mark

A multi-vector community energy system integrating a heating network, electricity grid and PV production to manage an electrified community Thumbnail


Ming En Han

Assistant Professor in Environmental Design

Professor of Sustainable Building Design


Electrification in energy supply–demand plays a critical role in domestic heating and road transport, delivering an electrified community to reduce carbon emissions. This solution, however, places a significant power demand increase on the distribution networks. To ensure the security of electricity supply, an efficient energy system and energy demand reduction are essential. In this paper, a multi-vector community energy system, applying an electrified heating network, electric vehicle smart charging, community-scale peak shaving and photovoltaic (PV) generation, is demonstrated in three models to manage an electrified community. Firstly, a heating network model, comprising a central ground source heat pump, low-temperature district heating system, electric heaters and thermal storage, is established to measure the optimum distribution temperature. Next, an electrified community model illustrates hourly electricity demands and performances of a community energy system, which is then used to identify the required degree of housing thermal efficiency improvement (i.e., heating demand reduction). The third model evaluates decentralised PV/storage units to maintain the power demand below a targeted power. Modelling results show that the demand ratio of domestic hot water to space heating determines the distribution temperature, which indicates the temperature is increasing with growing housing thermal efficiency. Moreover, the electrification of a community could increase the peak power demand on the highest demand day by over five times, converting heating demands into electricity directly. This significant peak demand can be possibly reduced to only a 33% increase by employing a community energy system. The model of PV/storage units is validated through a 12-week assessment. Ultimately, a modelling tool is developed by assembling the mentioned models, providing four pathways to attain electrification. Users can adjust specific parameters and database to align with the local conditions. The results indicate the requirements of building a community energy system and electricity demands in the highest consumption period.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 13, 2022
Online Publication Date Apr 19, 2022
Publication Date Jul 1, 2022
Deposit Date May 4, 2022
Publicly Available Date Apr 20, 2023
Journal Energy and Buildings
Print ISSN 0378-7788
Publisher Elsevier BV
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 266
Article Number 112105
Keywords Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Building and Construction; Civil and Structural Engineering
Public URL
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