In view of the Competition’s crucial objective to promote energy-efficient building, the Energy Balance contest possesses a special role calculating the houses’ electrical energy performance: this involves self-sufficiency, efficiency and overall consumption. There are 5 sub-contests to address this: (1) load consumption per surface area; (2) positive electrical balance; (3) temporary generation- consumption correlation; (4) house adjustment to network load state and (5) power peaks.
Teams dance on thin ice by simultaneously maintaining optimal comfort and energy balance in their homes! They must perform considering the network load management and the limitations of power peaks. However, neglecting comfort conditions by decreasing active systems in order to reduce energy consumption, risks disqualification. Passive strategies are always encouraged.
The ‘Load Consumption’ sub-contest aims to evaluate the electrical energy efficiency of the houses while fulfilling comfort and functioning demands. Since consumption, e.g. heating, cooling and ventilation, depends on the surface of the house, the overall measurements are related to it as well as are compared to the average measurable area of all the prototypes.
For a house to have a ‘Positive Annual Electrical Energy Balance’, the photovoltaic electricity generated through a whole year has to be higher than the electric loads’ consumption. The balance is calculated on site (‘Temporary Generation-Consumption Correlation’) and simultaneously calculated towards a yearly consumption estimate. It shows the maximised effect of distributed solar generation, when electricity is produced and consumed in the same place and the same time. Energy stored in the batteries can only be harvested from the PVs.
‘House Adjustment to Network Load State’ aims to reduce peak load on the network. Teams prove their energy consumption management ability by showing how they seek the power grid at certain times of the day with respect to its general state of stress. The contest’s network load maximum is set from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Points are gained if energy is sent to the network at this period. Lastly, energy load management aims to avoid ‘power peak loads’ on the electrical grid, i.e. having too many consumers. The amount of energy consumed and delivered to the SDE19 Solar Village grid by each Team will be monitored on a regular cycle of 60 seconds.
This is likely the most technical contest. However, if you have some hunger for technology, and distributed energy generation, the house engineers will be happy to brief you into their prototypes electronic details.