We present a new designed-for-purpose simulation tool- Smart Sizing. It has been developed by Tractebel through participation in national and international Research and Development (R&D) projects in the fields of distribution and Smart Grids. Nothing comparable exists on the market. It has allowed Tractebel to offer new services both in developed and developing countries to DSO and customers facing the energy transition and the resulting new challenges in distribution grids.
The Smart Sizing tool itself allows modeling of both technical and economic aspects when planning investments in the distribution grid. More specifically, the tool quantitatively assesses how the integration of demand response in DSOs planning and operation can help define the optimal trade-off between CAPEX (Capital expenditure) and OPEX (Operational expenditure) spending. •CAPEX in a distribution network is related to investment in equipment/asset replacement and upgrade. The conductors, the transformers, the cells of the feeders, but also the ICT infrastructure of a Smart Grid are included. •The OPEX represents the cost of losses in the network and the demand response activation costs. Thermal losses are inevitable in a distribution network. However, the correct sizing of the network components and the demand response can reduce this significantly; while assuring better asset investments. •The demand response activation costs are related to the variable cost induced by the activation of the flexibility. In short, the tool allows a global optimization of OPEX and CAPEX by selecting the optimal mix of traditional (network component costs and cost of losses) and flexibility (ICT infrastructure cost allowing demand response and activation cost of the demand response) based investments. Therefore the main innovative aspects of the new tool take into account: •multiple and possibly conflicting objectives (e.g. operation and infrastructure costs); •modeling of both distributed generation (PV, wind, CHP,) and the distribution grid; •modeling of all flexibility sources (Demand Response, generation, storage). Benchmark research has clearly shown that to date, these innovations are indeed absent in all existing commercial tools – making the Smart Sizing tool a first of its kind. In general, the new tool allows a far greater understanding the revolutions ongoing at distribution level both in developed and developing countries worldwide. Lastbut not least, the tool as it exists today is scalable towards future business needs with limited effort.