Smart energy networks in the North

The main purpose of this research is to assess the future of energy services, and define the framework for the development of smart energy networks in Northern Finland as an integral part of a sustainable energy economy in the North. In particular, this research aims to model the needs the energy market will have to fulfill in a smart energy network based system.

The project will address the potential and the adaptability of a smart grid system within the Northern Periphery area, in particular in the North of Finland. A hybrid micro-grid simulator from the end-user’s point of view has already been developed. The hybrid system includes 3 bio-energy-based CHP units, a wind turbine and a PV system. It also uses a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) as one of the storage elements. The elements of the modeled micro-grid and their inter-connections are showed in the figure below.

The built environment is monitored () by the smart system, which is able to answer to the energy needs () on a demand-response energy principle, and regulate the communication with the grid.
This project aims to further develop the system ability to adapt to changes in the grid conditions () and to monitor the behavior of a large scale model (). 

The main point of the simulator is to model the communication with the energy networks from the end-user’s point of view, serving as a blueprint for the modeling of a smart energy network system.

The objective is to have a better understanding of the model interaction between the natural environment, the built environment and the repercussions on the energy market infrastructure.

The first step of this project is to further develop the level of accuracy of the simulator by including more sophisticated and realistic interrelationship between different energy vectors (local power and thermal energy networks).

In the second, phase the simulator will be expanded both “vertically” and “horizontally”. The vertical expansion comprises primarily the inclusion of the energy management system (EMS) into the model and its full integration in the simulator “thinking” process. The EMS indicates an automated control and monitoring system for a number of electromechanical facilities in a building (lighting, heating, ventilation, etc.) which aims to the efficient use of energy resources.

The horizontal model expansion will include the assessment for the scaling of the simulator and the development of a more complex network of single users and group of users, whose micro-grids are directly interconnected and energy flows monitored. At the same time the inclusion of multiple elements into a large network will include hybrid micro-grid elements of different size and configuration and different location and time development scenarios, and the relative effects of the network, will be considered.

Based on the data obtained by the different scenarios, a comprehensive analysis of the effects on the energy market structure and on the natural environment will be performed. Particular attention will be dedicated to the technical and economical repercussions of the overall power grid demand profile and the possible effects for a direct connection of small scale energy user/consumer on the Nordic power market (NordPool Spot).

The project is performed as part of Dr Antonio Caló's post-doc research, and will also include a diploma thesis work by Jean-Nicholas Louis.


  • University of Oulu, Department of Process and Environmental Engineering, Control Engineering Laboratory (MSc. Esko Juuso)
  • Oulu Business School (Prof. Rauli Svento)

Project finance:

  • Pohjoista Voimaa Ympäristötili Fund


1/2012 - 12/2012

Related publications:

Contact person:

Dr. Antonio Caló, project leading researcher

Last updated: 4.9.2016