The ReFLEX project is aiming to build an ‘integrated energy system’ (IES) which will coordinate and combine multiple energy assets across electricity, transport and heat.
To integrate separate elements of the system, SMS's FlexiGrid will act as the control platform which automates decision making within the system. Taking into consideration multiple data inputs (both internal and external to the IES) the platform makes decisions and instructs assets to operate accordingly. Different assets will be controlled in different ways by FlexiGrid and the customer requirements for each asset will also influence how these assets are controlled.
For example, a customer returning from work could plug in their electric vehicle (EV) and schedule the EV to charge before they go to work the next day. Ensuring first that the customer’s requirements are met, the FlexiGrid platform can then manage the smart scheduling of the charge based on various internal and external factors such as cost of electricity, constraints on the local electricity grid or local renewable energy generation.
There will be other energy assets deployed under ReFLEX which will be outside the direct control of FlexiGrid but still regarded within the IES, as data collected from these assets will be used to inform improved decision making within FlexiGrid. This integration will enable a smarter energy system and aims to ensure that energy produced and consumed in Orkney is cleaner and more affordable in the future.
A crucial element of the IES is the community in which it will be deployed, in this context Orkney. Data collected from the people, homes and businesses who host these new energy technologies, in particular the human interaction with these assets, will provide a basis for further research and continued focus on decarbonisation the energy system.