Simulation Supported Real Time Energy Management in Building Blocks


The aim of Sim4Blocks was the development of methods and technologies that tap the potential of Demand Response at building and building cluster level with regard to grid stability and sector coupling. Thereby approaches were developed that offer incentives for energy service providers as well as for individual residents.

Research Question

The constantly growing part of renewable energies (RE) in the electricity mix requires an increasing flexibility of the European electricity grids. This can be achieved through more flexible power generation, load control and better integration of energy storage systems in grid operation. Load control in particular, together with sector coupling between electricity and heat supply (Power2Heat), offers a great future potential without requiring significant investments in infrastructure, such as power lines. In this context, possibilities must be developed in new and existing buildings that enable load control through the operation of building systems.


At three pilot sites in Switzerland, Spain and Germany, various methods have been implemented and tested and their transferability to other European countries has been examined. The three sites are characterized by a diversity of supply systems and different regulatory conditions. A special feature of the Swiss and German pilot sites is that a building group with decentralized heat pumps is supplied by an anergy heating network. The aim here was to optimize the operation of the heat pumps in terms of flexible electricity tariffs, participation in power markets and PV electricity self-consumption. At the Spanish pilot site, optimal electricity consumption has been determined for the inhabitants of a large residential building complex using self-learning algorithms, and possible savings are presented to the inhabitants via app.


Within Sim4Blocks, software prototypes and optimization algorithms as well as the corresponding interfaces for the flexibilized operation of heat pumps have been developed and tested at three pilot sites. It was shown that heat pumps represent a large potential for flexibility and that it is possible to manage clusters of heat pumps to deliver negative reserve power. Furthermore, optimization of heat pump operation was used to increase self-consumption of PV systems and to respond to flexible electricity prices. Thereby the standardization of interfaces, the costs of the necessary hardware and the latency times of heat pumps have been identified as the greatest problems. General acceptance among inhabitants was promising.

All public deliverables as well as publications can be found at: European Commission - CORDIS.

Co-financed by the European Union

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 695965.

ManagementProf. Dr. Wolfram Mollenkopf
  • Centre Internacional de metodes numeric en enginyeria (CIMNE)
  • Energea Enginyeria en Eficiència Energètica SL
  • S.P.M. Promocions Municipals de Sant Cugat del Vallès S.A. Promusa.
  • Desert Red Community
  • Schwäbisch Hall Municipal Utilities
  • enisyst GmbH
  • Haute école spécialisée de Suisse occidentale
  • Neurobat AG
  • Elimes AG
  • University College Dublin
  • Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
  • REstore NV
  • European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER)
  • EDF Energy R&D UK Centre Limited
  • Insight Media Ltd.
FundingEuropean Union
Call for proposalHorizon 2020 Energy Efficiency
Duration01.04.2016 - 30.09.2020


Name & Position E-Mail & Telephone
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Geschäftsführerin Forschungsschwerpunkt 2+49 711 8926 2504 2/244