Experimental micro-grids in the Technology Park of Sardinia.
The context which triggered the introduction of the analysed practice is the "growing energy demand", together with the "global awareness of the climate changes" due to the greenhouse gas emissions. These factors have led to the continuous implementation of renewable energy sources (RES) in the past decade and this trend is foreseen to continue. The transition from the centralized and programmable energy generation to the distributed generation, based on non-programmable sources, is a challenge for the electric power system. Among many technical solutions, the concept that appears most prominent and feasible is related to the development of the energy micro-grids. The analysed practice is realized in the Technology Park of Sardinia and has been implemented by Sardegna Ricerche. Currently, the centre’s electric infrastructure is organized in three different micro-grids, each of them fed by a dedicated photovoltaic generator. The generators are composed of different technologies, (monocrystalline silicon panels, amorphous silicon panels and photovoltaic concentrators). Such enables the long term comparison among performance of the different types of photovoltaic generators. The photovoltaic generators are supported by two battery storage systems. There are also two biomass conversion plants active in the centre, which are: the anaerobic digestion plant and the pyrolysis plant. The activities related to the project are carried out by 15 collaborators with different skills.
The annual cost of the practice can be estimated for 0,7 mln €.
The project has been financed by ERDF Operational Programmes 2000-2006, 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 for Sardinia Region.
Evidence of success
The activities have pointed out that the renewable energy power plants are better integrated with the main grid when are implemented within the micro-grids. Main results achieved: Analysis of the Smart Grid and its potential replicability on the territory, in other similar and non-similar contexts; Experimentation of integrating a mix of renewable and non-renewable energy sources; Analysis of the RES consumption limits in the regional energy mix (consumption / production peaks, other).
The main encountered technical difficulties are: Choice and sizing activity of different energy storage systems; Energy production peaks from renewable sources in central hours of the day, in particular in the summer season; Presence of constant energy consumption due to the plants / equipment.
Potential for learning or transfer
The “Renewable Energy Platform” team carries out the following activities in order to support both companies and public administration: Services to SMEs in the RES sector; Implementation and promotion of best practices in the field of renewable energy and efficient energy management; Organization of training courses, seminars and workshops; Development of professional growth opportunities for students (internships, stage, whorkshop, degree thesis, doctorate, etc.); Dissemination of the “Learning by doing” methodology; Promotion of case studies Elaboration of scientific papers for major international journals Participation in national and European scientific contests; Implementation of R&D projects with the economic support of public institutions or private partners.
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