Distributed Control and Energy Management of Biogas Plants

The consumption of renewable energies in Europe is increasing due to economic as well as ecological reasons. The ambitious objective of the European council in which Luxembourg participates is the so-called "three 20 targets" (to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 20%, to increase energy efficiency to save 20% of EU energy consumption and to reach 20% of renewable energy in the total energy consumption in the EU by 2020). However, renewable energies are mainly generated by small decentralized systems like solar cells and wind turbines and many of these sources generate fluctuating amounts of electrical power which causes frequency deviations in the electrical grid.
In order to ensure the quality of the future power generation, our project considers the integration of biogas plants (BPs) and waste water treatment plants (WWTP), which are controllable in a virtual power plant VPP (a set of small and decentralized energy sources which coordinate together as one larger but very flexible power plant).
The interest of power generation from BPs and WWTP is the fact that it doesn’t depend on the weather conditions and the produced biogas can be either directly converted to electricity power using gas engines or can be stored in the gas storage tanks of the plant. However the models of BPs and WWTPs are large and have complex power generation characteristics. Therefore, suitable models are needed for a reliable prediction of biogas generation in BPs and WWTPs.
In order to manage and control the produced power from complex and distributed systems, these last are interconnected by a wireless network and coordinate together by exchanging relevant information and solving local optimization problems to satisfy the overall demand of the electrical grid.

Researchers: Khadidja Chaib Draa, Prof. Dr. Holger VoosProf. Dr. Mohamed Darouach.