Energy Management in Smart Cities

Abstract: Models and simulators have been widely used in urban contexts for many decades. The drawback of most current models is that they are normally designed for specific objectives, so the elements considered are limited and they do not take into account the potential synergies between related systems. The necessity of a framework to model complex smart city systems with a comprehensive smart city model has been remarked by many authors.Therefore, this PhD thesis presents: i) a general conceptual framework for the modelling of energy related activities in smart cities, based on determining the spheres of influence and intervention areas within the city, and on identifying agents and potential synergies among systems, and ii) the development of a holistic energy model of a smart city for the assessment of different courses of action, given its geo-location, regulatory and technical constraints, and current energy markets. This involves the creation of an optimization model that permits the optimal planning and operation of energy resources within the city.In addition, several analyses were carried out to explore different hypothesis for the smart city energy model, including:a)      an assessment of the importance of including network thermal constraints in the planning and operation of DER systems at a low voltage distribution level,b)      an analysis of aggregator’s market modelling approaches and the impact on prices due to DER aggregation levels, andc)      an analysis of synergies between different systems in a smart city context.Some of the main findings are:It is sensible to not consider network thermal constraints in the planning of DER systems. Results showed that the benefit decrement of considering network constraints was approximatively equivalent to the cost of reinforcing the network when necessary after planning without considering network constraints.The level of aggregation affects the planning and overall benefits of DER systems. Also, price-maker approaches could be more appropriate for the planning and operation of energy resources for medium to large aggregation sizes, but could be unnecessary for small sizes, with low expected impact on the market price.Synergies between different energy systems exist in an interconnected smart city context. Results showed that the overall benefits of a joint management of systems were greater than those of the independently managed systems.Lastly, the smart city energy model was applied to a case study simulating a real smart city implementation, considering five real districts in the southern area of Madrid, Spain. This analysis allowed to assess the potential benefits of the implementation of a real smart city programme, and showed how the proposed smart city energy model could be used for the planning of pilot projects. To the best of our knowledge, such a smart city energy model and modelling framework had not been developed and applied yet, and no economic results in terms of the potential benefits of such a smart city initiative had been previously reported.