Power Distribution Grids and Operating Equipment

In our endeavor to achieve a sustainable, efficient and safe energy supply, we develop system concepts and work on prototype system solutions in lab and field experiments. The primary focus of our work lies in analyzing and evaluating the operation of real distribution grids, and on refining them further within a smart grid context. Here, we develop regulatory systems that influence and optimize voltage control and resource utilization, and derive methods for parametrization. The influence of distributed generation is reflected in these, as are new technologies (adjustable local network transformers, reactive power controls, electric vehicles, storage systems, controllable loads, etc).

In future, grid operation and planning will need to access additional measurements in order to deduce the current grid conditions. In response to this challenge, we are developing both static and dynamic grid status visualization tools that keep the number of reading points to a minimum by estimating grid conditions.

Volatile generation and consumption are leading to increased uncertainty in distribution grid design. We use probabilistic methods to illustrate this uncertainty in our models and thus develop tools for innovative, cost-effective target network planning.

Our R&D service comprise:

  • Analysis of distribution grids
    Analysis of resource utilization, control curves, voltage ranges and grid topologies
  • Planning of distribution grids
    Probability-based simulation of distribution grids using innovative resources (on load tap changer, Q controller, P controller) and the creation of various profiles (PV, wind, electric vehicles, CHP plants, synthetic load profiles)
  • Estimation of grid condition
    Cost-effective placement of additional reading points in the distribution grid and investigation of how to make the most of the existing metering infrastructure (voltage measurements from current protection systems, etc.) when estimating the condition of the grid
  • Visualization of the condition of the grid
    Static and dynamic visualization of node voltages, power flows and the utilization of resources
  • Technical and economic evaluation of specific grids
    Economic comparison between innovative technologies and the conservative expansion of the grid
  • Technical validation of control units in the lab
    Three-phase characterization of control systems by network feeder emulation