TA5: Simulation in Interdisciplinary Energy Research

Lead: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Description and Objectives

Simulation is an important tool for energy research and is already available in many variants. The overall goal of this TA is to give better support for the use of simulation in the energy domain, both for experts and interested non-experts, supporting the FAIR principles not only with respect to data, but to research software as well. For all these purposes, easy and standardised access is a main issue. In order to approach the field, an ontology of simulation paradigms and available software solutions is needed. Model registries for stand-alone simulation software will be one way to support this objective. For many advanced research questions, it is often necessary to perform distributed simulations. This allows for instance to combine simulation software from different domains (co-simulation for, e.g., energy sectors, markets, IT, and communications, mobility), to combine different abstraction layers (multi-level-simulation for, e.g., a fine grained simulation of a mechanism for households in a neighbourhood, integrated in a larger energy system), or different executables of the same simulation software in order to increase performance (parallel simulations for, e.g., portions of a grid model on different processors, potentially connected remotely). Typically, such distributed simulations require higher coding skills compared with stand-alone simulations and are therefore not easily accessible. Thus, it is a major objective of this TA to give better support for performing distributed simulations in the energy domain, by this additionally supporting interdisciplinarity. A first approach for this is to use ontologies for an assistance in the selection, development and execution of distributed simulation scenarios. A second approach is to improve the use of simulation middleware in order to support the configuration and execution of distributed simulation scenarios. The overall goal of these efforts is to provide Simulation-as-a-Service (SaaS) with the nfdi4energy platform as a front-end. The researchers participating in this TA will actively contribute to the WG Scenario Description Standardisation to harmonise the different conceptions of scenarios (see TA4).

From these ideas, Task Area 5 targets the following objectives:

  • [O5.1] Provide an overview of relevant simulation software, models, and methods applied in this field in energy system research as service for the community (Competence service)
  • [O5.2] Identify best practices in energy system distributed simulation and generate easy-access tutorials for better support on this methodological paradigm
  • [O5.3] Assist the simulation workflow on the base of ontologies in selection, configuration, and execution of simulators
  • [O5.4] Improve existing simulation middleware to increase its general usability for energy researchers
  • [O5.5] Establish a SaaS frontend for the nfdi4energy platform