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Overview

VIRTUELLE How the Virtual Power Plant KRAFTWERK works


Buildings with heat pumps
Heat pumps have varying sizes and power ratings.

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Buildings with combined heat and power units
Combined heat and power units have varying sizes and power ratings.

In a Virtual Power Plant, decentralised power generators such as combined heat and power units and energy consumers such as heat pumps are linked together as one unit and centrally controlled.

This ensures an optimum balance in the power grid and creates room for renewable energies. While heating requirements are covered by decentralised generators, the power generated at the same time can be fed into the grid.

Central heat control room


Centralised control of the systems spread across several locations is carried out at the heat control room. It is responsible for overall coordination of the interconnected systems. Vattenfall has decades of leading experience in the coordination of power ows, for example in the supply of district heating to 620,000 Berlin homes.

Wireless communication with heat pumps and CHP units

Renewable energies
The Virtual Power Plant can be controlled with great exibility, and is guided by the share of wind energy in the grid. Particularly at times when large amounts of wind power are fed into the grid, heat pumps, especially, can be operated economically.

Heat pumps energy from the environment


The heat source for a heat pump is ambient heat, such as is contained in the air. Using a cooling agent, it extracts its heat energy. By supplying electricity (e.g. from wind power), the cooling agent greatly compresses and reaches a high temperature, making it suitable for heating use.

Public power grid 3


Berlin is supplied with power by the German and European integrated grid and by Vattenfall power plants. Small, decentralised systems such as combined heat and power units also feed the electricity generated into the grid.

Combined heat and power units the smart decentralised solution 3


Combined heat and power (CHP) units are modular systems for generating electricity and heat. They are operated wherever heat is consumed. Gas-operated internal combustion engines are typically used to drive them. A CHP unit can predominantly produce electricity at grid peak load and buffer temporary excess heat in a heat tank.

4 Power ow with high wind in grid Process steps with high wind in grid Process steps with low wind in grid

4 Power ow with low wind in grid

Optimum grid utilisation

Heat pump

Heat tank

Heat tank Combined heat and power unit

Optimum grid utilisation

The grid load falls towards an optimum level. The excess wind energy is put to economical use.

The heat generated can be stored in the heat tank for later use.

The heat pumps use the excess wind power and generate heat from it.

The heat control room regulates buildings with heat pumps via the wireless connection.

The heat control room regulates buildings with combined heat and power units via the wireless connection.

The CHP units produce electricity and heat. The electricity enters the grid and increases the grid load.

The heat generated can be stored in the heat tank for later use.

Electricity production rises towards an optimum level. The missing wind energy is substituted in an economical way.

The Virtual Power Plant

The Virtual Power Plant