Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Renewable Alternative Power System Simulator - RAPSim

An open simulation software for Micro Grids

It is not necessary to stress all the challenges that come allong with wide range integration of renewables into the power grid at this article. You easily find this somewhere else, in this blog or at another source in the web. But I want to focus your attention on a tool that can help to deal with this challenges and work torwards solutions. It is a lot on matching climate dependent production with the personal demand which is currently noticed only in average. The various influences on residential load profiles are diverse and include weather conditions, availability of other resources, personal habits and also social phenomenas. This variaty is a reason why Marija Ilic speaks of just-in-time and just-in-place services in the conntext of Smart Micro Grids. 

Developing of or researching on such services requires a flexible simulation tool with possibly high usability. This is exactly what RAPSim is aiming at. RAPSim has been developed at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt within the Lakeside Labs project Smart Microgrid and was presented in front of interested audience at the ISGT Asia - 2014 conference in Kuala Lumpur in May 2014. Since then the software project is downloadable for free at

Connected Smart Grid Objects 

The simulation field is a lattice where the user designs a scenario by placing different "grid objects", e.g., houses, wind turbines, PV panels, etc. Each of the objects can have a model which does all the inner-object calculations. Algorithms handle grid-wide interactions. User-defined models can extend  algorithms for the grid and/or models for the grid objects. RAPSim provides the interface with following functions:
  • A graphical interface to create the intended scenarios and to control the simulator functions.
  • Functions to save and load simulation scenarios in a generic xml format.
  • A time thread that models time of day and day of the year and handles up to minute resolution.
  • Generation of output files in csv-format. Object parameters can be selected to be written into a file at each time step.
  • Weather simulation which can be done via stochastic models or simulated by measured data.
  • Topological grid analysis that collects objects of the same bus in a list and aggregates their parameter values.
  • Administration of algorithms for grid-wide calculations.
  • Administration of object specific models that can be easily implemented by the user.
The software is written in Java and provided with the source code so that it can be imported into a Java IDE such as eclipse. The development of the software is still ongoing. Try it out and give us feedback by adding a comment or sending a ticket to helps us to further improve it. Please spread the news about the tool, while we will do the best on our part so that onces RAPSim may become a synonym for rapid simulation in the field of mirco grids.
Once more here the link to the sourceforge page.

Publications on RAPSim (with links to fulltext PDF):

M. Pöchacker, T. Khatib, and W. Elmenreich. The microgrid simulation tool RAPSim: Description and case study. In Proceedings of the IEEE Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Asia (ISGT-ASIA'14), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2014. IEEE.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Workshop on Human Centered Energy Management

1st Interdisciplinary Workshop on Human Centered Energy Management
to be held from 7th to 11th of July 2014
at Lakeside Science & Technology Park, Klagenfurt, Austria.

An inter-faculty research field “Energy Management and Energy Technologies”, staffed by academics from a wide range of disciplines, has recently been established at the Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt (AAU Klagenfurt). Research efforts focus on energy management and energy innovation, networked and de- central energy systems. Together with the Faculty of Technical Sciences (TeWi), the Faculty for Management and Economics (WiWi) and the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies (IFF), this new research area will be further developed in cooperation with external partners such as the Lakeside Park.

The Lakeside Park is a platform for cooperation between enterprises and university institutions in the information and communication technology (ICT) sectors. A place of interdisciplinary research and development, training, production and services. The focus of the Lakeside Park is on selected topics of information and communication technology and complementary technologies such as energy systems. In the Interreg IV projects “Smart Energy” and “Efficient, Effective, Smart” the Lakeside Park establishes inter-regional contacts to strengthen collaborative research and development. Therefore, the Lakeside Park and the AAU introduce this novel interdisciplinary workshop with focus on “Human Centered Energy Management”.
Lakeside Park Klagenfurt with a view to the Wörthersee

Human Centered Energy Management

To ensure an efficient production, supply and consumption of energy, it is necessary to introduce novel technologies. Energy monitoring units, new smart control and managing techniques shall improve energy efficiency in the smallest entities of the common power grid – the Smart Building with its inhabitants and its neighborhood. In that respect the individual human being plays a crucial role for energy management tasks. On the one hand it is necessary to improve the energy efficiency of the costumer’s home to reduce energy consumption and costs. On the other hand also the decrease of environmental pollution by optimal utilization of energy resources is a major task of future energy systems.

The proposed workshop “Human Centered Energy Management” takes up these tasks and tries to identify problems and solutions for human centered energy management tasks in an interdisciplinary manner.

Format and Objectives

The aim of the workshop is to give regional experts, such as local professors and young researchers of the AAU, the opportunity to discuss and elaborate ideas with world-wide experts and to introduce and to discuss further ideas in an interdisciplinary setup. Therefore, participants with academic backgrounds and an interest on novel smart energy management systems as well as companies and research institutes are welcome to present and to discuss their research tasks and ideas.

The workshop will have a dedicated “industry day” providing the companies a platform to introduce their problems and to elaborate possible solutions and ideas with experts in the field of energy systems from different disciplines. The general format of the workshop lasts one week with key-speaker inputs and group work with discussions and presentations. Therefore, the event provides an excellent platform for scientific exchange, networking, establishment of international collaboration and the initiation of joint research projects.

Addressed Topics:

  • ICT solutions and approaches for smart home management and systems for integrated energy management.
  • Integration of smart and legacy appliances, renewable energy sources and storage systems in buildings to improve energy efficiency and awareness of inhabitants.
  • Identification, modeling and simulation of energy systems and human behavior
  • Energy data analysis and feedback approaches and behavior influencing information systems
  • Economics and law aspects of human centered energy managements systems in respect to smart homes, smart metering and energy data analysis as well as for renewable energy production and storage systems.
  • Market and business models for ICT-based energy services designed to improve the recent power grid and homes.
For more information about the workshop and how it is possible to participate, please contact