FOCUS : A framework for energy system optimization from prosumer to district and city scale

Decarbonizing the energy sector is one of the main challenges to combat the climate crisis. Cities play an important role to reach climate neutrality as more than 70% of global CO2 emissions originate from urban areas. Decarbonization of energy supply systems can be achieved through various means, including the use of renewable energy sources, improving the efficiency of technologies, the coupling of different energy sectors, and the use of flexibility considering individual prosumer behaviour. This leads to an increasingly decentralized energy system, which is challenging to operate in a robust and cost-effective way. The evaluation of technologies and subsystems can only be done from the perspective of the system in which it is embedded and it is highly dependent on their networking and application scenarios. Therefore, the design and operation of energy systems require adequate computation and evaluation tools, which offer a holistic view of all interconnected components. The currently available optimization tools have limitations, such as limited scope of technologies and sectors, high requirements on data, high computational cost, and difficulty in handling multi-objective optimization. To overcome these limitations a software framework called FOCUS for the flexible and dynamic modeling of any urban sector-coupled energy system is developed. The framework includes a library containing models for different technologies and offers a variety of parameter sets for each technology. FOCUS can handle multi-objective problems by returning Pareto-optimal fronts, which helps users to discover the trade-off between criteria and objectives. The developed tool can identify new flexibility potentials in the energy system, actively support companies in the respective field to optimize urban energy system planning solutions, and determine possible threads to the stable operation of such systems.

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