Electric Grids

Load profiles, monitoring, management and expansion planning. Fraunhofer ISE offers a broad spectrum of processes and services for optimized power grids.

Electric Distribution Grids and Operating Equipment

Today, electric distribution grids are subject to a multitude of influencing factors with new generators, storage facilities and consumers. Generally, not all information is available for optimal operation. Fraunhofer ISE offers various methods for mapping of the local generation and consumption structure. Our scientifically researched synthetic consumption profiles, for example, allow us to observe new load situations, such as those caused by electric vehicles. This makes it possible to estimate the condition of electrical grids and forms the basis for planning the deployment of controllable generators and storage facilities. In addition, the operational planning includes the optimum control of grid components, such as controllable local grid transformers or voltage retention through reactive power.

The structure of electric grids is highly dependent on the units to be connected in the future and their operation. With our methods for optimizing the grid infrastructure, we can visualize various options for strategic grid expansion planning.

Our R&D services include:

Synthetic consumption profiles

Parametrierungsmöglichkeiten in SynPRO
© Fraunhofer ISE
Parameterization possibilities in synPRO: Groups of people, housing type, activities and other parameters can be used flexibly to create individual load profiles.

Public utilities, energy consultants, research institutes and project developers frequently use standard load profiles for the precise design of building energy systems and power grids as well as for the development of control concepts. The applications range from supply planning for entire residential areas to the development of control strategies for PV heat pump systems and the individual calculation of the possible self-consumption rate of PV systems with electric vehicles in single-family homes. In many cases, high temporal resolutions are necessary to map load peaks and to consider different user behavior.

The "SynPro" software from Fraunhofer ISE offers scientifically validated profiles for all these applications. Quality is ensured by continuous comparison with field test results as well as standard and reference load profiles. The integration of device-specific individual profiles and the consideration of user groups with characteristic energy consumption behavior enables excellent adaptability of the profiles to project requirements. The high representativeness and temporal resolution guarantee reliable statements of the simulations and analyses.

Via the web-based platform "elinkSolutions" Fraunhofer ISE provides exemplary profiles and test accounts for detailed, individualized synthetic load profiles.

Fraunhofer ISE generates individualized, electrical and thermal load profiles for the energy industry:

  • Profiles for individual user groups
  • Stochastic modelling of individual device usage and electromobility
  • Load profiles of households, businesses and residential areas
  • Temporal resolution freely selectable (up to 1s)


Operation of generators and storages

Netzfreundlicher Betrieb von Batteriespeichern.
© Fraunhofer ISE
Grid-friendly operation of battery storages.

All important generators (PV, solar thermal, cogeneration units, heat pump, etc.) are simulated. All important storage technologies (battery, flywheel, SuperCap, etc.) are also modeled.

This model basis allows to simulate a realistic system behavior and to optimize operation. These include decentralized control algorithms (e.g. for optimizing own consumption, grid services) and optimization strategies for a pool operation or a virtual power plant (e.g. for providing control energy).

Monitoring of grid conditions / state estimation

Photovoltaic systems in the city center of Freiburg and their current output. Fraunhofer ISE develops modern forecasting methods for energy generation and consumption as well as user-friendly control tools. © Map material: City of Freiburg i. Br. – Land surveying office, „dl-de/by-2-0“, www.govdata.de/dl-de/by-2-0, Editing and animation: Fraunhofer ISE

The starting point for the operation of electrical grids is knowledge of the current and expected grid condition. Often not all points in the grid are considered.

These values can be determined and measurement errors can be compensated using state estimation methods.

Particularly for small, decentralized photovoltaic systems, there is often no information available on the current generation capacity. This is where our geobased extrapolation and projection methods come in. Based on a few measured systems, these calculate the current individual output of unmeasured systems.

Management of grids

Belastungs- und Schaltzustände
© Fraunhofer ISE
Visualization of the load and switching states in the grid.

With a good data basis, the operation of the grid can be optimally designed.

Today, the operation of electrical grids is spread over many components, such as controllable local grid transformers, reactive power from inverters or energy management in customer plants. A classical hierarchical operation is often no longer possible or at least no longer optimal.

At this point, we use our self-learning controller, which was developed in the "Green Access" project, which spans all voltage levels.

Grid expansion planning and target grid planning

Ablauf einer Netzausbauplanung
© Fraunhofer ISE
Procedure for grid expansion planning.

Similar to grid operation, grid planning also offers a multi-layered solution space, which is characterized by the uncertain supply task of new loads. The transition of mobility and heat has a considerable impact here.

At the same time, new smart grid technologies or conventional grid expansion are available as possible solutions. The starting point here is the mapping of the status quo and a structure of a corresponding scenario funnel. Scientific procedures for cost-optimized grid expansion planning are being developed, for example, in the "DiGO" project.


Selected Research Projects on this topic



synGHD – Synthetic Load Profiles for an Efficient Energy Supply Planning in Non-residential Buildings



Distribution Grid Optimization


Green Access

Effiziente Zusammenarbeit, Weiterentwicklung und Evaluation von Bausteinen eines intelligenten Netzes (only in German)