District Heating, Cooling & Power with on-site renewable energy
The Energy Hub is a collaborative €11.66 million European project, part funded by the EU under the Seventh Framework Programme, which aims to demonstrate the full potential of renewable energy by providing 100% on-site renewable energy within an "Energy Hub District".
An Energy Hub is a physical cross point, similar to an energy station, in which energy and information streams are coordinated, and where different forms of energy (heat, electricity, chemical, biological) are converted between each other or stored for later use.
The Energy Hub is a mechanism for exchanging energy via the grids between its members (households, renewable energy plants, offices, businesses), who may be both consumers and suppliers. The members exchange information on their energy production and energy needs with the Energy Hub. The Hub then distributes the available energy in the most efficient way.
To match supply and demand, the Energy Hub converts and stores energy and performs load shifting by controlling the E-Hub components for managing energy flows within the district. The members are connected to the Energy Hub by means of bi-directional energy grids (low and high temperature heat grids, electrical grids (AC and DC) and gas grids (hydrogen, biogas, syngas).
Renewable energy may be generated by individual members (e.g. from solar thermal panels or PV on residences) or by central means (a ground source energy or a large combined heat and power plant) located within the district that may be fuelled by solar energy, biofuel or hydrogen.
Central to the E-Hub project is the Multi Commodity Powermatcher: this smart controller allocates energy dynamically to its most demanding members from the most efficient sources of supply.
The aim is to design systems and mechanisms to achieve low energy districts or, ultimately, zero energy districts.