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Florijn de Graaf and Simon Goddek

Abstract With the pressure to transition towards a fully renewable energy system increasing, a new type of power system architecture is emerging: the microgrid. A microgrid integrates a multitude of decentralised renewable energy technologies using smart energy management systems, in order to efficiently balance the local production and consumption of renewable energy, resulting in a high degree of flexibility and resilience. Generally, the performance of a microgrid increases with the number of technologies present, although it remains difficult to create a fully autonomous microgrid within economic reason (de Graaf F, New strategies for smart integrated decentralised energy systems, 2018). In order to improve the selfsufficiency and flexibility of these microgrids, this research proposes integrating a neighbourhood microgrid with an urban agriculture facility that houses a decoupled multi-loop aquaponics facility. This new concept is called Smarthood, where all Food—Water—Energy flows are circularly connected. In doing so, the performance of the microgrid greatly improves, due to the high flexibility present within the thermal mass, pumps and lighting systems. As a result, it is possible to achieve 95.38% power and 100% heat self-sufficiency. This result is promising, as it could pave the way towards realising these fully circular, decentralised Food—Water—Energy systems.

Keywords Smart grids · Urban agriculture · Microgrids · Blockchains · Selfsufficiency · Energy system modelling


F. de Graaf

Spectral, Amsterdam, The Netherlands e-mail:

S. Goddek

Mathematical and Statistical Methods (Biometris), Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

© The Author(s) 2019 379

S. Goddek et al. (eds.), Aquaponics Food Production Systems,


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Open Access This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence and indicate if changes were made.

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Aquaponics Food Production Systems


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