Spektrum der Wissenschaft features EASY-RES: How does our power grid remain stable?

Spektrum der Wissenschaft features EASY-RES: How does our power grid remain stable?

  • 9:40AM May 29, 2018
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We are delighted to annouce, that the monthly appearing, very popular German science magazine Spektrum der Wissenschaft brought out an article dealing with EASY-RES!

The German article “Energy shift: How does our power grid remain stable?“* starts with:

Coal-fired power plants not only supply electricity, they also stabilize the electricity grid. But in the future there will be no large power plants. Nevertheless, the eco-network of the future should remain resilient – with the help of new digital security technologies. Some are already ready and will be up and running in the next five years.

EASY-RES partner and leader of work package 4, Prof. Dr. Hermann de Meer shares some insights considering the topic of EASY-RES:

A prerequisite for an intelligent negotiation of the electricity is also that not only generators and consumers become smarter, but the entire local network, the so-called distribution network. Because until today it is still pretty stupid.

“The local distribution network is traditionally operated in blind flight," says Hermann de Meer, professor of computer science at the University of Passau. »The extra-high voltage grid with the long transmission lines is monitored and controlled very precisely. In the distribution network, however, electricity has so far simply flowed to the customer as if it were a river, without precisely capturing the state of the grid. That will not work in the future. “The reason: households that feed in electricity from their solar systems, or electric vehicles that suddenly boost consumption, bring more movement into the grid than ever before. »In the future, when people in a residential area connect their electric car to the socket after work, the small transformers on the roads quickly become overloaded.« There is only one solution for de Meer: in the future, sensors will have to be installed in the distribution network remotely monitor the state and control the network.

The article introduces EASY-RES directly, with statements of Prof. Charis Demoulias, project leader of EASY-RES:

In order to keep the electricity grid stable, however, it will not only be necessary to make distribution grids smarter, because not all fluctuations on site can be dampened. Likewise, it requires a smart cross-regional linking of local networks. Hermann de Meer is working on this together with colleagues in the European joint project EASY-RES, which is headed by researchers from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Instead of using power plants for primary or secondary control in the future in the event of network fluctuations in a region, individual local networks could in future be interconnected in such a way that the stable local networks offset deviations elsewhere. For Greece, this idea is particularly interesting, because there are not only virtual power grid islands linked together, but real – the many islands off the coast.
The Greek project partners see Ireland as a model because, unlike the rest of Europe, large wind farms in Ireland can help to ensure grid stability. Elsewhere, they shut down when there are instabilities," says EASY-RES coordinator Charis Demoulias of the University of Thessaloniki. However, as Ireland shows, the wind farms can smooth out fluctuations very well if they are controlled accordingly." For example, the inertia of the wind turbine generators can be used to provide instantaneous reserve. All in all, the generators in a wind farm bring it to large rotating masses.
Mr. Christos Dikaiakos, development engineer  of the EASY-RES partner Independent Power Transmission Operator explains the importance of EASY-RES:
EASY-RES also has a stake in the Greek power grid operator Independent Power Transmission Operator. “We want to make sure that the project results are implemented quickly," says their development engineer Christos Dikaiakos. For him, the IT solutions are the tool to re-weave the European power grid.
»In the past, in order to improve the network, we have always relied on even more copper cables and an expansion of power plant capacity. The potential of computer science was not taken into account for a long time. " He therefore believes that the fact that the European association of electricity network operators ENTSO-E has now set up its own control group for digitization is groundbreaking.

All partners of EASY-RES want to thank Spektrum der Wissenschaft for their brilliant article! We will work hard on the topics to achieve our goal:

100 % renewable, 100% secure!

The article apeared online on 28.05.2018 on https://www.spektrum.de/news/wie-bleibt-unser-stromnetz-stabil/1559000, author of the article is Spektrum der Wissenschaft editor  Tim Schröder.

The featured image of this blog post is taken from the article, © imaginima / Getty Images / iStock

* All quoted texts were translated from German to Englisch. source: https://www.spektrum.de/news/wie-bleibt-unser-stromnetz-stabil/1559000

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