The aim of power electronics is to convert electrical energy into the various forms required for a diverse range of applications and consumers in a highly efficient manner and to control the power flow. The electrical output varies across an extremely broad range, from typically less than one watt in the case of the voltage regulators used in communications electronics up to several gigawatts for high-voltage direct current (HVDC) installations. They therefore present a basic or cross-cutting technology to act as a link between energy technology and information technology. Due to the high level of efficiency that can be achieved and the excellent flexibility, the importance of power electronics is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, particularly in the field of electrical energy networks. 

Logo Verteilernetz 2020

Improvements to the capacity and safeguarding of the quality of distribution networks

With the increasing expansion of renewable energies, medium to low-voltage distribution networks are often being pushed to their limits, particularly in rural areas. This results in problems with voltage stability and equipment overload.

Objectives:
The aim of the project is therefore to develop and integrate different types of innovative equipment, which is not currently available, in order to improve the capacity of the distribution network to ensure the smooth expansion of decentralized, regenerative energy production, thereby maintaining the high quality of the network:

  • Controllable and adjustable feeder/inverter with extended functionalities to ensure voltage stability, real power and reactive power control, offsetting of harmonic oscillations
  • Optimally dimensioned and located, controllable, decentralized electricity storage that is operated in accordance with consumption and generation forecasts and optimal cyclization with a view to achieving a long service life and therefore cost-effective operation of the storage
  • Smart, controllable, multifunctional linear regulator, which allows for new functionalities within local network stations and drive train control units in order to offset grid disturbances, ensure voltage stability, absorb harmonic oscillations, and balance the load on the conductor
  • A communications technology that can be deployed in the power electronics systems environment, that is real-time capable, reliable, and cost-effective (broadband powerline)

The project revolves around the integration of this extremely varied piece of equipment, which includes a communications system, into a universal, automated control system (control technology), which should guarantee optimal interaction. In order to achieve this, the interaction will first be simulated and then investigated by means of a laboratory test. Based on these experiences, the system as a whole will be tested within the scope of a field test within the distribution grid of the participating grid operator.

Project partner and funding:
The project consortium is made up of manufacturers of inverters, local network stations, storage batteries, measurement technology, grid automation, and communications technology, as well as grid operators and universities active in the fields of power electronics and the electric grid.
The Verteilnetz2020 project is supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics. This and further initiatives are shown on Forschung-Stromnetze.info

 

 

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