Within the MISSION Smart Grid project, two smart multi energy microgrid demonstrators – microgrid size and near-real scale – will be realized at the ENEA Research Center in Portici and the RSE facilities in Milan and Piacenza, to test hi-tech infrastructures for research, innovation and experimentation of the various technologies connected to smart energy microgrids.

Going beyond the definition of a smart grid as an intelligent electricity grid, the proposed demonstrators will  represent advanced multi-energy systems that will allow to both experiment benefits and challenges connected to the coordination of multiple energy vectors (electrical and thermal) and sources (renewable and conventional generation, storages), and test techniques and strategies to overcome the revealed issues (e.g., advanced multi-objective optimization, artificial intelligence, etc.).

The two demonstrators will be based on a modular approach, will include several grids – nano and / or micro size. These sub-grids will be able to operate in island or interconnected mode and will allow to try out the benefits deriving from an integrated and centralized management of energy carriers (electrical and thermal), with solutions aimed at increasing the share of energy from RES on final consumption. The trial will quantify the benefits of this integrated approach, acting on two levels: (i) optimized multi-vector management on single users (e.g., single microgrid or experimental area); (ii) optimized multi-carrier management putting multiple users in the system with the perspective to test and disseminate the local energy communities.

In detail, according to the multi-energy and multi-vector nature of integrated energy systems, both demonstrators will consist of the integration of thermal and electrical networks – monitored and supervised through sensors and advanced measurement and communication systems. An advanced management and control system will regulate the main operating parameters of the integrated resources to allow both the optimal management of the microgrids and the historicization and categorization of data and information with the aim to replicate (in similar contexts) the technological and system solutions adopted for energy ecosystems.