Flexible energy harvesting from natural gas distribution networks through line-bagging

Ermanno Lo Cascio, Bart De Schutter, Corrado Schenone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In a swirling dynamic interaction, technological changes, environment and anthropological evolution are swiftly shaping the smart grid scenario. Integration is the key word in this emergent picture characterized by a low carbon footprint. Between the wide range of key actions currently pursued by European municipalities, the possibility of harvesting energy from natural gas distribution is being established in this context. Load matching is crucial for local energy exploitation and integration of renewable resources. In this paper, the authors introduce a novel management method to increase the flexibility of the energy harvesting process from gas distribution networks. This method, called gas bagging, enables one to shift energy production schedules by properly manipulating the downstream pressure of the pipeline system. The emerging system dynamics in gas bagging must be managed using a proper system control architecture. This is fundamental to avoid system-safety-constraint violations. From a relevant case scenario, the authors demonstrate that the energy load can be totally shifted to night hours without violating system-safety constraints. For this purpose, the implementation of model predictive control has revealed to be a strategic measure. In fact, this ensures safe and cost-effective operations enabling up to a 10% daily operational cost reduction. Results reveal gas bagging to be a strategic tool for energy production flexibility and carbon emission reduction using natural gas distribution networks integrated into a smart grid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-263
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Electric vehicles
  • Energy harvesting
  • Gas bagging
  • Natural gas
  • Night charging
  • Turbo expander

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