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ÖKO-OPT-QUART - Economically optimized control and operating mode of complex energy networks of future city districts

In the project ÖKO-OPT-QUART energy-based, economic and control-orientated models will be developed in order to simulate the operating mode of complex, sustainable energy networks in city districts. For an exemplary configuration these models will be combined to an overall model which allows a realistic economic comparison of different control strategies. The final goal of the project is the development of a method for the systematic design of cost-optimized, predictive control strategies for complex energy networks in city districts.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

In future city districts, the focus on a reasonable combination of different, where possible renewable energy sources is increasing. However, the resulting energy networks are getting more and more complex. This increase of complexity has its origin mainly due to the dependency of renewable energy production on non-controllable, varying environmental conditions (e.g wind or sunlight), the increasing decentralization and the growing demand for efficiency.

However, currently applied control methods are not yet capable of operating such complex systems reliably and efficiently. In order to develop suitable control strategies which would ensure a robust and efficient operating behavior, non-steady simulation models in high resolution (time and space) are required. Such models are currently only available to a limited extent due to the high complexity of the system.

Furthermore, there is neither a practical, systematic approach nor are there any guidelines how to deal with a new project and its requirements in order to develop and implement a superordinate control.

Contents and goals

In the project ÖKO-OPT-QUART predictive, superordinate control strategies will be developed based on an energy-based and economic simulation model. These strategies should get simulated for a concrete example configuration (a city district currently being planned).

This approach allows for clearly identifying and reliably evaluating the investment-, installation- and operating mode strategy with the greatest economic benefit. In addition to the methodical findings, a secondary benefit is generated. The evaluation of the developments based on real boundary conditions, makes it possible to directly integrate the acquired knowledge into the real development of the city district being planned.


In the project different models (energy-based, economic and control-oriented) for complex energy networks in city districts are developed which should get linked to an overall model for an exemplary configuration. The energy-based modelling describes both the thermal as well as the electro-technical behaviour of an urban energy network in a detailed way with a high-resolution in time. The economic modelling allows a continuous economical evaluation of the operating mode, by providing the possibility to track and analyse the emerging costs.

The control-oriented model either consist of a conventional state-of-the-art control strategy or a predictive, cost-optimized control strategy for operating complex energy networks in city districts. This makes it possible to compare the efficiency of both control strategies by comprehensive simulation studies. The development of these models is based on a new city district, which is currently being planned. The integration of the responsible planners and investors in the modelling process will ensure a high suitability for daily use of the models.

Expected results

The aim of the project is the development of detailed and highly resolved, non-steady simulation models. These partial models get then combined to an interdisciplinary overall model, which allows the simulation of various control strategies for the energy networks of an example configuration. Due to this overall model, it will be possible for the first time to realistically quantify the economic benefits of predictive control strategies for the operating mode of energy networks.

The following figure shows a schematic representation of the coupling of the partial models in an overall simulation. Furthermore, a methodology for the systematic design of predictive, cost-optimized controls for complex energy networks should get developed.

This methodology is intended to help in the development of advanced control strategies for a multiplicity of different energy networks of the size of city districts.

Finally, the findings obtained in this project should be made available to the technical community by appropriate dissemination measures. In particular this should help to enable small and medium-sized companies to develop and implement such controls.

Scheme of the overall simulation of an urban energy network

Project Partners

Project management

Bioenergy2020+ GmbH

Project or cooperation partners

  • AEE INTEC – Institut für nachhaltige Technologien
  • ISWAT GmbH Industriesoftware & Automatisierung
  • PMC-GmbH projekt management creative
  • TB-Starchel Ingenieurbüro GmbH
  • Technische Universität Graz, Institut für Wärmetechnik

Contact Address

Markus Gölles
Inffeldgasse 21b
A-8010 Graz
Tel.: + 43 (316) 873-9208
Fax: + 43 (316) 873-9202

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