Due to increasing photovoltaic capacity the use of heat pumps and electric vehicles, the power grid is nearing its limit in many locations. Bottlenecks and instabilities are occuring more often. At Fraunhofer ISE we analyze these problems using high-resolution data and grid simulations in order to develop solutions. It is quite clear that the solutions involve converters and consumers that provide grid-supportive services and that more storage must be incorporated into the grid. Grid-supportive operation entails that the units comply with the existing grid codes and that the individual systems are optimally integrated into the energy market as a whole.
Digitalization is the key to an economical, secure and sustainable energy supply. The increasing complexity in the energy grid can only be controlled by a high degree of automation. Therefore, we conduct research on the simulation and optimization of power grids with the aim to increase the share of renewables in the grid. Also we investigate novel information and communication technologies (ICT), including artificial intelligence methods. Complementary to these two topics, we also realize an efficient and comprehensive data workflow which ranges from data acquisition through to data processing and storage. This guarantees a long-term transfer of knowledge. We pursue the goal of significantly increasing both the resilience of the energy system as well as the share of renewable energy in the power grid.
In our Digital Grid Lab, we focus on the digitalization of the power grid and the integration of distributed energy systems. The lab is equipped with a state-of-the-art, hardware-in-the-loop grid simulator, which provides a virtual model of the power grid and automation technology. Complex grid sections and operating situations can be flexibly simulated on a laboratory scale and the interaction of different systems, e.g. the charging infrastructure, can be tested. The test environment can map the stationary and dynamic operating behavior in the power range of a typical low-voltage network or microgrid.