INTELAB is an energy lab within the RTSoft group. The company's goal is to develop and implement intelligent software services and solutions for distributed energy resources (DERs).
INTELAB is focused on:
- Improving the efficiency of energy management through optimization and forecasting algorithms.
- Upgrading projects with the help of modern technologies for storage and generation of electricity.
- Modeling energy resources digital twins.
- Development of the digital platform to make their solutions more flexible.
The company needed a digital platform to develop applied control systems for distributed energy resources because the existing solutions were too expensive and complicated to configure. The platform allowed the energy lab to integrate different software products and reduce the time-to-market and the cost of the control system.
INTELAB chose simulation to show the performance of the platform to customers and assess the technical and economic effect of using the platform.
Conventional programming didn't fit INTELAB’s objectives. It required a lot of specialists’ time to prepare an MVP and develop a graphical user interface. It was also difficult to model specific applications where the control object could be presented as a population of agents (e.g., electric vehicles or aggregated power facilities).
Therefore, INTELAB decided to use AnyLogic software. AnyLogic provided agent based simulation, visualizations for nontechnical stakeholders, easy connection to the digital platform to show its functions, and quick preparation of the prototypes demonstration.
The purpose of the simulation was to demonstrate the effectiveness of the platform for managing microgrids. The simulation goals were the testing of the short term optimization module and demonstrating the benefits of using the optimization algorithm. Its function was to minimize the cost of generating electricity while satisfying system boundary conditions.
The model included the following agents:
- Renewable generation (Wind Plant)
- Accumulator (Electrical energy storage system)
- Power Plant (Diesel generation sets)
- Uncontrolled load
- Platform (DER control system)
Outputs provided the following:
- Operation time of diesel generators, hours
- Energy generated from the start, MWh (megawatt-hours)
- Cost of diesel generation, $/kWh (kilowatt-hours)
- Total cost, $
INTELAB compared two methods:
- Local control algorithm. This was the simpler one, which they used mostly for microgrids. INTELAB’s specialists should always maintain the load of the switched-on generators between 37% and 75% of the rated power.
- Optimization module provided by the platform.
The results with AnyLogic showed that usage of the second method shortened the number of diesel generators operating hours by 41% and reduced cost of diesel power plant generation up to 20%.
It was much easier for INTELAB to use AnyLogic than to create their own software. AnyLogic reduced the time spent for preparing MVP of platform applications. Simulation modeling demonstrated the effectiveness of the optimization module.
They also realized that it could be used to expand the platform. For example, universities could use the AnyLogic model as a teaching platform for making control systems.
Because of this success, INTELAB plans to start an electric vehicles (EV) charge management project. AnyLogic is the perfect solution to model the behavior of EV. It makes it possible to model the development of electric transport in the city and to assess its influence on the electrical grid. To simulate scenarios such as EV charge management, the use of AnyLogic is necessary and can significantly reduce the cost of MVP development.
Read more about EV operations simulation model in the case study of SimPlan ”Modeling of municipal electric vehicle fleets”.
Watch the video about the case study presented by INTELAB at the AnyLogic Conference 2021: