Active NeIghborhoods energy Markets pArTicipatION (ANIMATION)

ANIMATION is a four-year research project funded by the Croatian Science Foundation. The total value of the project is one million and three hundred thousand HRK (Approx. 180.000 EUR). The project has started on January 1st, 2020, and will end on December 31, 2023. The project leader is Assoc. Prof. Hrvoje Pandžić.


Demand response (DR) refers to the ability of electrical load to change its consumption pattern in order to provide flexibility to the power system operator, in electricity market or to other power system users. Almost all of the demand response provided today is either industrial or commercial, as residential sector is much more delicate and complex to design due to a huge number of distributed resources as well as impact on people’s everyday lives. Although the governments are generally pushing the household DR, the households are still rarely involved in DR programs. This especially applies to simultaneous participation of households in various markets. The proposed research project plans to shake up the household DR market and activate the households.

The proposed project is composed of four main parts. 

The first part tackles the development of a comprehensive mathematical model for active households. An active household is composed of different components: electric household devices, home EV charger, rooftop solar panels and stationary battery. The second part will use the comprehensive active household model as the base for an integrated optimization model of an active neighborhood. This optimization model gathers a number of active households and represents them through aggregated bids at different power markets. The third part of the project is the creation of a software based on the previously described integrated model. When all the required knowledge is gathered, the data format and protocols to be used in the proposed software will be defined. The software will be able to establish communication between three main counterparts: active households, the active neighborhood operator and the organized market. Exact data required between an active household and its active neighborhood and between an active neighborhood and different markets must be defined to proceed with the development. Apart from establishing proper communication canals, the software must integrate the market optimization model and additionally process data. The historical and planned household data and power markets data must be statistically analyzed and the future forecasts of households’ behavior and market prices must be created. The fourth part of the project is focused on laboratory tests and validation of the models. We intend to purchase the relevant laboratory equipment and recreate an actual active household. Laboratory equipment to be purchased includes household devices, information, communication and measurement equipment, EV charging station, rooftop PV panels and a stationary battery. Information and communication equipment will be used for computer simulation environment setup, for parametrization of the equipment and network, and for household and neighborhood interfaces. Power equipment relates to metering, surveillance and control devices. After the equipment purchase, a complete data and electricity household network will be created. Each of the devices will be connected to the household hub and interface.

Project has a potential to greatly impact the way the households and power systems interact. The first major impact is on digitalization and controllability of a household. As a consequence, households will pay less for the electricity and indirectly (via an aggregator) provide services to the power system without even knowing or caring about it, as the provision of such services will be automated and without reducing of people’s comfort level. The second major impact is on the development of energy/power markets, where the households will be represented via aggregators (new entities in electricity markets). As households can adjust their consumption setpoints almost instantly, their flexibility will be utilized by the system and remunerated appropriately. This will increase the market efficiency and enable trading of electricity and services closer to the time of delivery. Finally, the successful implementation of the results of the project will impact enable higher levels of renewable energy in the system. This is because variable renewable sources require higher flexibility in the power system. Instead of the traditional controllable power plants (thermal), which are being displaced by the clean renewable sources, the demanded flexibility will be provided by the loads. This will enable higher security of the power system with a high penetration of variable renewable energy.