Austria’s motorway company prepares to fight power outages with hybrid microgrid

The Austrian motorway company ASFINAG with its long-standing service partner and general contractor K.E.M. MONTAGE and the German Microgrid specialists from DHYBRID have jointly implemented a forward-looking power supply for one of Austria’s most important traffic management centres and motorway masters (ABM). For this purpose, a so-called “hybrid microgrid” has been created on the grounds of the ABM Klagenfurt. It supplies the entire site with renewable energy without interruption, even in the event of a failure of the public grid. The ABM Klagenfurt is responsible, among other things, for the monitoring and maintenance of various Alpine tunnels and the busy Tauern motorway.

Project is part of ASFINAG’s sustainability strategy

The supply of solar energy to the Autobahnmeisterei in Klagenfurt is part of the ASFINAG project to gradually supply all of the company’s sites with green electricity. The energy storage system ensures that solar energy generated during the day can also be used at night or in the event of a power failure. Until now, this uninterruptible power supply was only possible with a high technical effort. It is precisely this that ensures that tunnels and motorway sections can be monitored seamlessly even in the event of a failure of the public electricity grid.

“The Microgrid of ABM Klagenfurt shows that renewable energies and a reliable energy supply go hand in hand if the technological course is set correctly. This means that the new energy system is not only a beacon project, but also a real plus for the safety of motorists,” says Christoph Lang
Head of Renewable Energy & E-Mobility at K.E.M. MONTAGE, the general contractor for the construction of the new electricity system.

Secure energy supply with the hybrid island network

“hybrid island networks” or “hybrid microgrids” are local electricity networks connected to the public electricity grid. However, if necessary, they can separate themselves and supply themselves, usually with the help of a battery storage system and special electronics.

The hybrid island network of ABM Klagenfurt combines a 220 kWp photovoltaic system and a 522 kWh lithium-ion power storage system. DHYBRID’s “Universal Power Platform” (UPP) energy management system controls and monitors all parameters of the energy supply. If the public grid fails, the battery storage system seamlessly takes over the supply of the island network using the UPP.

When the public grid returns, the UPP measures the necessary parameters and ensures uninterrupted resynchronization into grid parallel operation. In battery operation, upP also regulates the load management of three connected charging stations for ASFINAG electric vehicles with up to 70 kW of power. If the capacity of the energy storage system is exhausted in the event of a persistent power failure, the UPP switches on a back-up diesel generator fully automatically.

DHYBRID originally developed its Microgrid technology for use in non-European countries, where, for example, there is often no reliable and stable energy supply on islands. However, DHYBRID Microgrids is increasingly implementing in Europe due to the expansion of renewable energies and the increasing demand for tailor-made energy storage solutions.