This artice is free to access.
Background: The transition to a sustainable future challenges the current energy grids with the integration of variable, distributed renewable energy sources. On a technical level, multi-energy systems may provide the necessary flexibility to minimise the gap between demand and supply. Suitable methods and tools are necessary to derive relevant results and to support a transition to renewable energy sources. While several, dedicated tools to model grids and infrastructure of single-energy carriers exist, there are no tools capable of modelling multi-energy systems in detail. Thus, this paper presents the necessary aspects to consider when modelling grid-based multi-energy systems, presents three open source frameworks for modelling grid-based energy systems and points out the major challenges. Methodology: The current main aspects and challenges for modelling grid-based energy systems are derived from a literature review. Three open source multi-energy modelling frameworks (Calliope, oemof, urbs) are presented, and the extent to which they consider these aspects and how they tackle challenges is analysed. Grid-based MES modelling: We identified five general energy system modelling aspects (modelling scope, model formulation, spatial coverage, time horizon, data) and three aspects specific to modelling energy grids (level of detail, spatial resolution, temporal resolution). While the specific aspects mainly influence the representation of the technical parts of the energy system and the computational effort, the general aspects primarily relate to the system boundaries and scope of the model. For the evaluation of the modelling results, we identified several assessment criteria, including economic, energetic, exergetic and reliability. Each of the studied open source modelling frameworks provides generic capabilities to model energy converters, and the electricity, gas and district heat networks. However, the general and specific aspects present respective challenges. Relating to the general aspects, complexity of model formulation increases when including additional boundary conditions. The accuracy of the results is also dependent on data quality. Temporal and spatial resolutions are the major specific challenges for modelling the energy infrastructure. Conclusions: There is still a broad field of opportunities for researchers to contribute to grid-based energy system modelling. This encompasses especially the consideration of short- and long-term dynamics of renewable energy sources in planning models.
Kriechbaum, L., Scheiber, G., & Kienberger, T. (2018, November 13). Grid-based multi-energy systems-modelling, assessment, open source modelling frameworks and challenges. Energy, Sustainability and Society. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13705-018-0176-x