During the past 18 months, the Danish project partners have been actively working on Use Cases 4 and 5 of the InsulaE project. The Use Case 4 aims at demonstrating the benefits of a renewable-driven DC microgrid, while the Use Case 5 is directed at the realization of a bio-based economy, together with the coordinated operation of different renewable energy resources in a Virtual Power Plant.

Activities connected to the UC4

The core element of the DC microgrid is the ‘Nerve Switch’ technology, an innovative reconfigurable power electronic-controlled battery, that serves as a buffer between the AC grid and connected DC components, including a PV installation and fast chargers for electric vehicles. This DC microgrid solution will be demonstrated at two different sites in the city of Rønne, Bornholm.

Figure 1. Rønne city, Use Case demo area: a) Campus Bornholm, b) Green Solution House hotel

The technical designs of the system components as well as the legal contracts have been finalized. That will allow the start of the demonstration activities by June 2021. Together with the manufacturing company of the battery technology, plans regarding the transportation and commissioning of the battery on the island have been concluded. Current activities are directed at the design of energy management strategies to optimize the use of PV production, electric vehicle consumption, and grid interaction.

Figure 2. Visit of the Campus Bornholm demo site in Rønne, June 15th, 2020: a) a parking area, where the DC-microgrid will be installed, b) a 180-kW PV facility, part of which will be used in the demonstration

Figure 3. Nerve Switch technology under the development at the manufacturing company

Activities connected to the UC5

The goal of Use Case 5 is to demonstrate strategies on how to better integrate a bio-based economy as well as to coordinate the production of different distributed energy resources combined into a Virtual Power Plant at the substation of Aakirkeby. During two project meetings on the island in June and September 2020 different components of the Virtual Power Plant ‒ the biogas plant, the electric boiler, the wind farms, and the PV park ‒ were visited for preparing the demonstration activities. The foreseen demonstrations will showcase the controllability of the components. In the first part of the project, the activities mainly relate to simulations that have been performed for estimating the potential of new biomass fractions and how these can be processed in the local biogas plant. Furthermore, the energy production of the Virtual Power Plant has been examined in detail, as well as the options of how to extend the portfolio of the Virtual Power Plant by prospective energy domains (e.g. Hydrogen/Synthetic Natural Gas).

Figure 4. Visit of the Bornholm Bioenergi biogas plant, May 28th, 2019

Figure 5. Visit of the wind and PV parks in Aakirkeby, June 16th, 2020