11. (Hybrid) Symposium Communications for Energy Systems

Self-Optimization Challenge

Peer-to-Peer energy trading, energy sharing, self-optimization or grid-supporting behavior are expected to become essential applications for energy communities and their participants. Due to the high complexity of physical and virtual energy flows, financial flows, as well as the optimization of controllable devices within a community, automated (digital) solutions are needed to handle these requirements.

ComForEn2021 will host a "Self-Optimization Challenge" for interested researchers to develop, deploy, and validate their own optimization module for energy communities – capable of considering various constraints (e.g., energy trading priorities, prices/tariffs, technical limitations, etc.) and aiming to reach a dedicated optimization objective. The concrete requirements will be announced on 12.11.2021, the deadline for the submission of the optimization module will be the 17.11.2021, 18:00. The submitted optimization approaches will run during the entire conference. The winner of the challenge will be announced and awarded on the second day of the conference (23.11.2021).

Virtual Community Environment (see schematic below) will be provided, consisting of various components representing different types of participants (residential customers, prosumers, commercial customers) or common community components (e.g., community storage systems, public charging stations). Based on the defined subjective and given constraints of the challenge, an optimization module must be integrated into the environment. The optimization results (based on economic efficiency, ICT efficiency and computation efficiency) will then be the criteria for the "Self-Optimization Award”.

The energy community consists of residential and commercial customers (consumer and/or prosumers), a community PV system and two storage systems – for long-term and short-term storage, with different characteristics. The generated energy from the community PV system and the surplus generation from individual prosumers can be sold within the community or stored into the battery storage system. Only residential customers are allowed to buy the offered energy. The storage systems can either be operated as community storage for all customers or separated into dedicated slices that are allocated to the individual customers. Given prices/tariffs for energy (for inner-community electricity transfer as well as for transaction with the retailer, storage usage as well as grid tariffs have to be considered). The optimization module should provide an optimal solution, considering costs, communication and calculation efforts. The time resolution of the system can be chosen to be between 1 minute and 1 hour (directly influencing communication and calculation effort, thus maybe also influencing total costs due to the averaging process of the time series); consumption and production data is provided for these possible resolutions and the storage systems can be operated without any delay.

Important dates



Official start and provision of virtual community environment. Online meeting
(Meeting details will be provided)



Announcement of challenge requirements, Q&A-online session
(Meeting details will be provided here)



Submission deadline (Submission details will be provided)



Challenge start


Announcement of winners

You have any questions? Please let us know: challenge@comforen.org