Distributed energy resourcesProject Virtual Power Station 2
This report was developed by the CSIRO building on its existing research, creating the next version of a virtual power station (VPS2) that can undertake pilot-scale testing of load, generation and energy storage coordination.
The increasing uptake of both solar PV and battery systems poses a serious risk of exceeding the hosting capacity of many Australian distribution network segments. Large amount of uncoordinated solar PV and battery systems can result in so called ‘power quality’ problems, with unacceptably high and fluctuating voltages, an inability to export to grid at times, and restrictions placed on the proportion of energy sourced from PV.
Many existing energy-optimization solutions provide benefits to only one party: typically either the customer or the distribution network service provider (DNSP). The purpose behind the Virtual Power Station 2.0 (VPS2) project, by contrast, was to develop a moderately-priced solution that delivers balanced technical and economic benefits for all parties (customers, DNSPs and society). The solution leverages controllable PV, batteries, and loads (air-conditioners) to first optimise on-site electricity supply and demand and then aggregates customer-devices to deliver optimal solutions for the network as a whole.
Building upon CSIRO’s seminal Virtual Power Station (VPS) research, this project examined:
- On-Site Supply & Demand Co-Ordination: Development of an integrated control system for coordinating major appliance loads, energy storage, solar export and reactive power within residential and small commercial sites.
- Multi-Site Aggregation & Co-Ordination: Development of coordination algorithms that aggregate multiple sites to deliver distribution network benefits while respecting household needs.
- Greenfield Demonstration: Development and demonstration of this integrated solution, at pilot scale, within a new residential development. The Lend Lease development at Yarrabilba, SE Queensland was chosen for this demonstration.
- National Learnings Transfer: Diffusion of actionable VPS2 learnings to Australian DNSPs through development of an enhanced set of prototypical distribution feeder models. These allow assessment of how VPS2 and other control schemes can enhance Australia’s PV hosting capacity.
The outcomes from this project are a key building block for a technically and economically-sustainable distributed energy future. The project also capitalizes on Australia’s global leadership in appliance demand response (DR) standards. The AS/NZS4755: Demand response capabilities and supporting technologies for electrical products, was released during this project, with major input from project personnel. This standard provides unparalleled capability for deploying DR and renewable energy load matching across millions of residential appliances, particularly air conditioners, pool filtration, hot water systems and an increasing number of electric vehicles.