Smart grids for rural conditions and e-mobility - Applying power routers, batteries and virtual power plants
Document typeConference report
Rights accessOpen Access
Significant reductions of greenhouse gas emission by use of renewable energy sources belong to the common targets of the European Union. Smart grids address intelligent use and integration of conventional and renewable generation in combination with controllable loads and storages. Two special aspects have also to be considered for smart grids in future: rural conditions and electric vehicles. Both, the increasing share of renewable energy sources and a rising demand for charging power by electrical vehicles lead to new challenges of network stability (congestion, voltage deviation), especially in rural distribution grids. This paper describes two lighthouse projects in Europe (“Well2Wheel” and “Smart Rural Grid”) dealing with these topics. The link between these projects is the implementation of the same virtual power plant technology and the approach of cellular grid cells. Starting with an approach for the average energy balance in 15 minutes intervals in several grid cells in the first project, the second project even allows the islanded operation of such cells as a microgrid. The integration of renewable energy sources into distribution grids primary takes place in rural areas. The lighthouse project “Smart Rural Grid”, which is founded by the European Union, demonstrates possibilities to use the existing distribution system operator infrastructure more effectively by applying an optimised and scheduled operation of the assets and using intelligent distribution power routers, called IDPR. IDPR are active power electronic devices operating at low voltage in distribution grids aiming to reduce losses due to unbalanced loads and enabling active voltage and reactive power control. This allows a higher penetration of renewable energy sources in existing grids without investing in new lines and transformers. Integrated in a virtual power plant and combined with batteries, the IDPR also allows a temporary islanded mode of grid cells. Both projects show the potential of avoiding or postponing investments in new primary infrastructure like cables, transformers and lines by using a forward-looking operation which controls generators, loads and batteries (mobile and stationary) by using new grid assets like power routers. While primary driven by physical restrictions as voltage-band violations and energy balance, these cells also define and allow local smart markets. In consequence the distribution system operators could avoid direct control access by giving an incentive to the asset owners by local price signals according to the grid situation and forecasted congestions.
CitationBUEHNER, V., Franz, P., Hanson, J., Gallart, R., Martínez, S., Sumper, A., Girbau-Llistuella, F. Smart grids for rural conditions and e-mobility - Applying power routers, batteries and virtual power plants. A: International Council on Large Electric Systems. "Actas CIGRE 2016". Paris: 2016, p. 1-9.