Smart power networks for an entire business park are now a reality in Toulouse, thanks to the Smart Grid Experiment run by ENGIE Ineo.
Smart charging for electric vehicles using solar panels, braking energy recovery for trams, and controls to govern increases in rail traffic... In Toulouse, a 1.5-hectare business park with a working population of 230 is successfully experimenting with a new way of sharing power networks thanks to the Smart Grid Experiment run by ENGIE Ineo, in which facilities that consume energy exist alongside those generating and storing power.
The Smart Grids Experiment involves the on-site installation of renewable energy generating systems that include a 300 kWp solar panel array (kWp or Kilowatt Peak power is the unit of measurement used for photovoltaic power) and a 60kW installed base of wind power.
The energy generated is either consumed or stored on-site in lithium-ion batteries (1.5 MWh) and flywheels (100 kWh) to optimize the economic and environmental balance of the business park site.
More than 100 sensors provide real-time measurement of power supply and demand at different points in the grid. The smart energy management system developed by Cofely Ineo gathers and centralizes all this data as the basis for matching energy generation to consumption.
Via this system, all on-site electrical systems communicate with each other continuously, enabling the generation/consumption balance to be optimized at all times. The building manager controls the facilities and balances priorities by deciding, for example, to shut down the heating or air conditioning supplied to certain items of equipment at times of peak consumption without compromising office comfort levels. Similarly, at lunchtime or during troughs in consumption, the solar energy generated can be stored for later use. Consumers therefore become active contributors to maintaining the balance of the power supply grid.
This project is being run under a partnership with specialist power electronics company CIRTEM and the Laplace energy conversion laboratory (INP Toulouse) and Levisys, the pioneer in flywheel energy storage.