Hoogkerk, a suburb in the Netherlands, officially began operating a microgrid and calling itself "the power-matching city" on March 10, 2010. The Hoogkerk microgrid includes 25 interconnected houses and is part of the SmartHouse/SmartGrid project and another research project carried out by ECN, KEMA, Humiq, Essent, Enexis.
There are twenty five homes in the project and they are divided into two groups. Twelve are equipped with hybrid heat pumps with heat buffers; the remaining ten homes have decentralized generation capabilities using micro-CHP. Twenty-four smart appliances and two electric vehicles with demand response capabilities are installed. All houses are connected to PV panels and have smart meters. To provide additional power to the project, the city has a 2.5 MW wind turbine, whose output is scaled to match the energy demand of the households. Finally, all devices are represented by smart agents that trade energy on local real-time markets via an ICT infrastructure in order to optimize the Smart Grid system.
How will the Smart Grid manage real-time power supply - The PowerMatching City Pilot Project
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To date, PowerMatching City has been a success. The various technologies provide flexibility without impacting the overall comfort of the end-user, and allow interoperability between components, and the ability to grow the system as organically as needed. Measurements from the micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) systems, the hybrid heat pumps and the electric vehicle (EV) charging stations all indicate that the system responds quickly to fluctuating demands, and maintains an appropriate fill level for each household over the long term. Just as important, consumer response has been positive. Lifestyle interruptions have been minimal, and what interruptions have occurred has provided a learning opportunity for everyone involved, with upgrades and fixes either implemented or underway.