© Oliver Brückl

Net­work plan­ning for the pow­er grid of the future

The Research Cen­ter for Ener­gy Net­works and Ener­gy Stor­age (FENES) at the East Bavar­i­an Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty Regens­burg (OTH Regens­burg) works with the munic­i­pal util­i­ties of Forch­heim and Wald­münchen in the STROM research network.

More pho­to­volta­ic sys­tems, more e‑mobility, increased use of heat pumps and com­bined heat and pow­er plants: This pos­es chal­lenges for ener­gy sup­pli­ers in plan­ning and oper­at­ing the pow­er grid of the future. Togeth­er with the munic­i­pal util­i­ties of Forch­heim and Wald­münchen, the Research Cen­ter for Ener­gy Net­works and Ener­gy Stor­age (FENES) at the Ost­bay­erische Tech­nis­che Hochschule Regens­burg (OTH Regens­burg) is devel­op­ing tech­ni­cal­ly and eco­nom­i­cal­ly sus­tain­able net­work plan­ning in urban dis­tri­b­u­tion net­work struc­tures. It is thus part of the STROM research net­work, in which uni­ver­si­ties, munic­i­pal com­pa­nies and indus­tri­al part­ners from all over Bavaria are involved. The Bavar­i­an Research Foun­da­tion is pro­vid­ing around 1.9 mil­lion euros for the project.

Experts are con­vinced that CO2 emis­sions in Ger­many can be fur­ther reduced if elec­tric­i­ty from renew­able ener­gies increas­ing­ly replaces fos­sil fuels in the trans­port and heat­ing sec­tors. The research asso­ci­a­tion “Ener­gy — Sec­ToRk Cou­pling and Micro-Grids”, or STROM for short, is work­ing on how the cou­pling of these sec­tors can suc­ceed. The project brings togeth­er researchers from Ans­bach Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Sci­ences, Ingol­stadt Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty, Munich Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Sci­ences, Munich Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty and Regens­burg Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Sci­ences, as well as 26 com­pa­nies from the ener­gy sector.

“It is undis­put­ed that a large part of the changes brought about by the ener­gy tran­si­tion as well as the advanc­ing sec­tor cou­pling will have an impact on the dis­tri­b­u­tion grid lev­el and thus also on the grid areas of many munic­i­pal util­i­ties,” says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Oliv­er Brückl, who heads the project at the Research Cen­ter for Ener­gy Net­works and Ener­gy Stor­age (FENES) at OTH Regens­burg. Togeth­er with his research assis­tant Her­mann Kraus, M.Sc., and the munic­i­pal util­i­ties of Forch­heim and Wald­münchen, Prof. Brückl wants to “devel­op a tech­ni­cal­ly and eco­nom­i­cal­ly sus­tain­able grid plan­ning”. This will take into account sce­nar­ios for the future devel­op­ment of pro­cure­ment and gen­er­a­tion plants, e‑mobility and CHP plants in the grid area of the munic­i­pal utilities.

The inves­ti­ga­tions are to show which effects the cou­pling of the heat and trans­port sec­tor with the elec­tric­i­ty sec­tor has on the elec­tric­i­ty grid and which changes result in the struc­ture of the elec­tric­i­ty grid as well as in the behav­iour of the con­nect­ed cus­tomers. In the con­sid­er­a­tion of future sen­si­ble net­work plan­ning mea­sures, among oth­er things, the use of a stor­age sys­tem for self-opti­mi­sa­tion of the munic­i­pal util­i­ties is to be analysed in order to be able to esti­mate the effects on the elec­tric­i­ty net­work and to demon­strate the poten­tial of cost sav­ings. “Ulti­mate­ly, rec­om­men­da­tions for action are to be derived from the project results and a gen­er­al­ly applic­a­ble guide­line for dis­tri­b­u­tion sys­tem oper­a­tors is to be devel­oped,” says Brückl.

With the par­tic­i­pa­tion of numer­ous indus­tri­al part­ners in the net­work, a com­pre­hen­sive range of project results is to be achieved and thus the top­ic of sec­tor cou­pling is to be con­sid­ered in its entirety.