Evolution of the flexibility potential of optimized multi-energy distribution grid

General information

Type: Master project
Period: Autumn 2019
Project directors: Prof. François Maréchal (IPESE-EPFL)
Assistants: Luc Girardin, Luise Middelhauve (IPESE-EPFL)
Project team: HSLU-FEEB&D
Related project: SCCER FURIES II – Future Swiss Electrical Infrastructure


According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, the share of renewable energy in the power sector could more than triple compared to current levels with a potential coverage by variables sources such as wind (36%) and solar (22%) energy reaching about 60% of the total electricity production.

In Switzerland, the implementation of the Swiss Energy Strategy 2050 will indeed require investment strategies for the large-scale development, promotion and deployment of power grid-related innovative solutions providing flexibility to the power system.

Project description

The objective of this master project is to compare the potential of modern building energy systems to provide flexibility to the distribution system operators (DSO).  The flexibility reserve available at the supply-side (integration of PV panels and cogeneration), demand-side (customer behavior, integration of mobility), technical-side (integration of heat pump, power to gas, thermal and electrical storage) and operational-side (Model Predictive Control)  will be expressed as an equivalent “virtual storage capacity”.

This will require to adapt method and tool developed at IPESE-EPFL (building energy systems design and operation)  and PVLAB-EPFL (load allocation) to evaluate the trends in magnitude and investment of more flexible solutions at district scale.

The application on the reference case of the Romande Energie electric network demonstrator (REel Demo) in Rolle will allow to provide general recommendations for the future Swiss electrical infrastructure.


  • Energy conversion systems knowledge (EPFL courses: Thermo I/II, Energy conversion, or equivalent)
  • Programming skills: Python or equivalent
  • Optimization (EPFL courses: Modelling and Optimization of Energy Systems or equivalent)

Other soft skills that are highly appreciated:

  • Mixed integer linear programming
  • Motivation, autonomy and self-organization
  • Ability to communicate results (oral and written)

How to apply

If interested, please take contact with Luc Girardin and Luise Middelhauve attaching your CV, Cover Letter and transcript of records (Bachelor’s and Master’s).

Practical information

The IPESE laboratory is located in the Sion EPFL campus. Travels from Lausanne to Sion are compensated by EPFL.