Optimization of the Grid Infrastructure

The use of modern, controllable operating equipment can make oversized and expensive grid expansions obsolete while continuing to guarantee the security and reliability of the power supply.

Grid Planning

The use of modern, controllable operating equipment can make oversized and expensive grid expansions obsolete while continuing to guarantee the security and reliability of the power supply. The future structure of electricity grids depends a great deal on the equipment that will be connected to the grid in the future and their operation. In our Digital Grid Lab we have tools for optimizing the grid infrastructure which enable us to investigate and visualize various options for strategic network expansion. We offer our customers support in planning the grid of the future. 

Our R&D services in "Grid Planning" include:

Targeted Grid Planning and Grid Expansion Planning

Procedure for grid expansion planning
© Fraunhofer ISE
Procedure for grid expansion planning.

Similar to grid operation, grid planning is a complex solution space, which is shaped by the uncertainty in the supply obligation for new loads. Specifically the transitions in the mobility and heat sectors have a big impact here.
At the same time, new smart technologies or conventional grid expansion pose possible solutions. The starting point for these investigations is mapping the status quo and establishing a so-called  “scenario funnel.”  We are developing scientific methods for cost-optimized network expansion planning in the DIGO project, for example.

Definition of the Supply Obligations

Consumption profiles
© Fraunhofer ISE
Consumption profiles calculated with SynPRO for a single-family home with electric vehicle.

Based on your specific and regional data, we define scenarios that fulfill the required future supply obligations. For each technology (electric vehicles, heat pumps, photovoltaics, etc.), we create possible expansion scenarios.  In addition we determine the probability to help you in your selection.  With our tool SynPRO, we generate node-sharp demand profiles.

Optimization of Grid Expansion

Visualization of the estimated network state as heat map
© Fraunhofer ISE
Visualization of the estimated network state as heat map.

Based on the previously defined supply obligation and the current grid situation, we use our optimization tools to calculate optimal grid infrastructures. This includes smart grid technologies such as reactive power control or controllable local grid transformers. If the supply obligation cannot be solved with smart technologies, we suggest automation and equipment replacement or new power lines to alleviate bottlenecks in the grid operation in the future.

Performing Evaluation Tests in the Digital Grid Lab

Researcher in the Digital Grid Lab
© Fraunhofer ISE
Researcher in the Digital Grid Lab working at the emergency power system 2.0 (battery-based) with local power distributor and electrical load.

In our new Digital Grid Lab we carry out hardware-in-the-loop tests of new components under real conditions and can map the micro-grid. 

Further information on this research topic:

Research Project

"StraZNP"

Strategic and Targeted Grid Planning

Research Project

"DIGO"

Distribution Grid Optimization

R&D Infrastructure

Digital Grid Lab

in our Center for Power Electronics and Sustainable Grids