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Modelling Energy Distribution in Residential Areas: A Case Study Including Energy Storage Systems in Catania, Southern Italy

Author

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  • Alberto Fichera

    (Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Catania, 95125 Catania, Italy)

  • Alessandro Pluchino

    (Department of Physics and Astronomy “Ettore Majorana”, University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy)

  • Rosaria Volpe

    (Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Catania, 95125 Catania, Italy)

Abstract

Complexity is a widely acknowledged feature of urban areas. Among the different levels to which this definition applies, the energy sector is one of the most representative of this way of conceiving cities. An evidence of this complexity can be detected in the growing impact of prosumers. Prosumers produce energy to meet their own demands, distribute it directly to neighbors and, eventually, store the energy neither consumed nor distributed. The modelling of distribution networks is a challenging task that requires ad hoc models to simulate the mutual energy exchanges occurring among prosumers. To serve at this scope, this paper proposes an agent-based model aiming at determining which operating conditions enhance the energy distribution among prosumers and diminish the supply from traditional power plants. An application of the model within a residential territory is then presented and simulations are conducted under two scenarios: the first investigating the distribution among prosumers equipped with photovoltaics (PV) systems, the second integrating energy storage systems to PV panels. Both scenarios are studied at varying the installed PV capacity within the territory, the allowed distance of connection among prosumers, as well as the rate of utilization of the links of the network. Results from the simulated case study reveal that the energy distribution among prosumers can be enhanced by providing short-range links for the electricity exchange. Similar advantages can be achieved by integrating storage systems to PV, along with a significant reduction in the electricity requested to the centralized grid.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Fichera & Alessandro Pluchino & Rosaria Volpe, 2020. "Modelling Energy Distribution in Residential Areas: A Case Study Including Energy Storage Systems in Catania, Southern Italy," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(14), pages 1-21, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jeners:v:13:y:2020:i:14:p:3715-:d:386732
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