Journal Article

Modelling demand response with process models and energy systems models: Potential applications for wastewater treatment within the energywater nexus

February 13, 2020

Applied Energy, Vol. 260, February 2020, 114321

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A promising tool to achieve more flexibility within power systems is demand response (DR). End users in many strands of industry have been subject to research regarding the opportunities for implementing DR programmes. We review recent DR modelling approaches in the realm of energy systems models and industrial process models. We find that existing models over- or underestimate the available DR potential from an industrial end user for two main reasons. First, the interaction between power system operation and industrial process operation caused by DR is not taken into account. Second, models abstract from critical physical process constraints affecting the DR potential. To illustrate this, we discuss the wastewater treatment process as one industrial end user within the energy-water nexus, for which the lack of suitable modelling tools is affecting the accurate assessment of the DR potential. Case studies indicate the potential for wastewater treatment plants to provide DR, but no study acknowledges the endogeneity of energy prices which arises from a large-scale utilisation of DR. Therefore, we propose an integrated modelling approach, combining energy system optimisation with the level of operational detail in process simulation models. This will yield a higher level of accuracy regarding the assessment of DR potential from a specific process, such as wastewater treatment.