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This paper presents a generic framework for the modeling of energy systems comprising multiple-energy carriers, such as electricity, heat, gas, biomass, etc. The modeling framework is based on the so-called energy hub approach. The core idea of the energy hub is the definition of a conversion matrix capable of describing the interactions of production, delivery, and consumption in multiple-energy carrier systems. Based on the energy hub concept a broad spectrum of modeling extensions and applications is presented, such as a multiple-energy carrier optimal power flow, risk management and investment analysis tools, agent-based control schemes for decentralized generation units as well as the possibility to analyze the influence of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) on future energy systems. The paper is concluded with a section presenting the key benefits of the energy hub modeling framework, followed by a discussion on the main design principles generality, scalability, and modularity as well as a discussion on the possibility to follow top-down or bottom-up modeling strategies.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2011