Modernising Power Distribution Systems Through Algorithms

In the 'grid control' project, Karlsruhe researchers are working on an overall concept for future power distribution systems.

Project 'grid control'

The conversion to renewable energies is only a part of the energy transition. Along with new forms of energy generation, new conditions for the utilisation of the generated energy have to be created. In the project 'grid-control' the FZI Research Center for Information Technology is researching, together with seven other institutions from economy and science, on an overall concept for future power distribution systems. The aim is that power grids, local power generation, consumers and market participants interact coordinately. The project includes several laboratory tests and a field test in which the developments are tested in real life. The location for the field test of the smart grid project is Freiamt, a town in Baden-Württemberg.

The FZI's task in the 'grid-control' project

In the field test of the 'grid-control' project, the FZI is testing algorithms and mechanisms for a building energy management system (BEMS). For this purpose, various building energy management systems along with the associated measuring equipment were installed in different households and equipped with local storage. FZI researcher Dr.- Ing. Birger Becker explains: "In the first step, flexibility options of electrical generators and consumers will be identified. Through the coordinated use of controllable components via the BEMS, these flexibilities can be retrieved efficiently in order to prevent bottlenecks in the power grid and thus unnecessary grid expansion." The consortium consciously chose the rural region of Freiamt in the Black Forest for the field test, since significantly more energy is already being produced than consumed here. With the findings of the laboratory and field test, the interfaces, methods and algorithms used will be gradually adapted and evaluated as well as evaluated as an integrated scenario in the overall system.

The eight project partners began to work on the holistic concept for the power distribution systems of the future in 2015. In addition to the FZI Research Center for Information Technology, ads-tec GmbH, Fichtner IT Consulting AG, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Landis+Gyr GmbH, PREdistribuce, Seven2one Informationssysteme GmbH and the University of Stuttgart are involved in the project. The consortium leader of 'grid-control' is the Netze BW GmbH.