The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, together with other Fraunhofer institutes, is investigating different aspects of a so-called “Super Grid”. Their research involves modeling a suitable energy system, developing technological solutions for storage as well as the generation and distribution of DC power.
Essential topics of the team “Energy System Analysis” in the course of the overall project SuperGrid are:
The scientists at Fraunhofer ISE implement computer modeling to find out technical detailed solutions for a suitable energy system. Next, they created a system model, based on the regions of North Africa and Southern Europe, to simulate the interaction between renewable power plants and those using conventional fuels. Using an energy system model (RESlion) for optimization, the program searches for new power plant locations, considering all existing production and storage systems as well as the grid infrastructure. The optimization results show that photovoltaic plants in North Africa which are installed in close proximity to the load are more profitable, even when the site has a lower annual irradiation. Concentrator solar thermal power plants (CSP) are appealing when large thermal storage capacities are available in the network for securing the system stability.
The model development of the energy system model RESlion provides the Fraunhofer ISE to be able to analyze and optimize the integration and operation as well as the expansion planning in the North African and European electricity system including all conventional power plants, renewables and storages.
Further Information on other aspects of the SuperGrid project outside of the business area Energy System Analysis, which focus rather on the technological realisation of supergrids, can be found in the articles "Storage Technology for Linear Fresnel Power Plants" and "High-efficiency Power Electronics for Medium Voltage Applications".