As part of the DynaGridCenter research project co-funded by the German
BMWi (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy), Siemens and its
research and scientific partners have opened a dynamic grid control
center at the Technical University of Ilmenau, Germany, that is the
first of its kind in the world. The project involved setting up an IT
link between the grid control center and a grid model at Magdeburg
University. The grid model sends its measurement data to the grid
control center in Ilmenau, where it’s analyzed in real time. The
analysis results are then used to control the Magdeburg model
dynamically, with Ilmenau acting as a grid center of the future. The
object of the DynaGridCenter project is to research the next generation
of grid control centers and station control technology. The new control
centers are designed to help manage the increasingly dynamic grids over
the long term and to maintain grid stability.
“A priority objective was to develop what we might call an autopilot
for the transmission network. Like an aircraft, the autopilot has two
core functions: first, to control the system automatically so that the
“flight” or grid operation remains as calm and stable as possible at
all times. Its second function is to detect obstacles or faults at an
early stage so that they can be circumvented or avoided. This allows the
operator in the dynamic grid center to identify the dynamic conditions
in the grid. What we’ll do is provide the operator with the means to
react effectively to verified dynamic grid conditions, something
that’s not possible today,” said Prof. Dr. Rainer Krebs, principal
expert and head of the Technical Department for Protection and Control
System Studies in the Siemens Energy Management Division.
The research consortium consists of Siemens, the universities of
Magdeburg, Ilmenau, and Bochum, and the Fraunhofer Institutes in
Magdeburg and Ilmenau. The dynamic grid center will be the answer to the
growing problem of controlling dynamic conditions in the transmission
grid. Grid requirements have already changed enormously: Large nuclear
power plants and coal-fired power plants are being taken off the grid,
and the new focal points for power generation are the large-scale wind
farms in the North Sea. In addition, a distributed and fluctuating power
supply is fed in at all voltage levels from wind turbines and countless
photovoltaic systems across all of Germany.
In order to ensure that the electrical power is delivered where it’s
needed without detours – even under the aggravated conditions of
increasingly dynamic grids, longer transmission paths, and
less-than-precise forecasting for renewable energy sources – the
experts have developed the dynamic grid control center, and a prototype
has been installed in Ilmenau. The planned high-voltage DC transmission
routes in the three-phase grid are also included. They will help
stabilize the grid if the control algorithms of a smart HVDC
transmission control system are integrated in the operation of a dynamic
grid control center. Complex energy systems are being modeled in a
real-time simulation being conducted in Ilmenau, and the kinds of
operating conditions that are expected in the future are being analyzed.
The accumulated data must be processed such that a single person can
collect this data and can act immediately, if necessary. Although
there’s already a high level of automation in grid control centers
today, responsibility for decision-making still lies with the control
This essentially visual processing of data also poses a challenge,
because the dynamic grid control centers no longer simply receive and
analyze conventional measured values. Another concern in the future will
be the integration of synchronized, high-precision measurement equipment
that can measure phase angle as well as voltage, current, and frequency.
This not only means that there is a significantly more accurate and
dynamic grid model available in milliseconds; there are also far more
precise recommendations for action that will be made to the control
center personnel. Today control centers already have to intervene in the
grid with increasing frequency to keep voltages, currents, and grid
frequency within the permissible limits. The work in progress in
Magdeburg and Ilmenau could very soon result in dynamic control centers
replacing conventional control centers in the grid as a long-term
solution to the problem of increasing grid dynamics.
The three-year-long DynaGridCenter research project was kicked off at
the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg in October 2015. The project
partners are Siemens, the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg,
Ilmenau Technical University, the Ruhr University Bochum, the Fraunhofer
Institute for Factory Operation and Automation (IFF) in Magdeburg, and
the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies, and Image
Exploitation, Advanced System Technology branch (IOSB-AST) in Ilmenau.
Associated project partners are the transmission grid operators 50Hertz
Transmission, TransnetBW, TenneT, and Amprion. Siemens is responsible
for coordinating the joint project, which has received roughly €5
million in funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs
and Energy. The project will cost a total of €7.2 million.
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