DI WolfgangHribernik, Headof Business UnitElectric EnergySystems
Smart Grids form the key basis for a new, integrated and smart infrastructure.For this purpose, AIT conducts studies for network planning or pre-qualificationof system components for partners from the energy sector.
Network planning studies for gridreinforcement, voltage band management,optimized load flow calculation
Pre-qualification of system components (power,ICT)
Interoperability tests in the laboratory, controltests, power hardware-in-the-loop tests,comprehensive functional tests ofcommunication and power interfaces,development of communication interfaces
ICT solutions for network operation,development and validation of controlarchitectures, measurement analysis and dataprocessing, support in the field ofcommunication networks, visualization of thesystem state
Methods for modelling and optimizing highlycomplex energy systems. Unification of differentareas into a coherent theory that is consistent withflexible system boundaries:
Continuous aspects (e.g. the energy infrastructureof production, transport/distribution as well asconsumption)
Discrete aspects (e.g. information technology suchas distributed digital controls and communication),
Theoretical aspects of behaviour (e.g. roles, rulesand agents on markets, game theory)
Statistical aspects (e.g. weather or aggregateduser behaviour)
SMART GRIDS LABORATORY AT THE AIT
With the SmartEST Laboratory, AIT possesses aunique infrastructure and assumes a global positionthrough collaborations and interdisciplinary know-how.
This allows hardware tests to be combined with theadvantages of the numerical real-time simulation. In„Power Hardware-in-the-Loop“ (P-HIL) simulations,network models are linked to real components in or-der to investigate control algorithms, system con-cepts and components for intelligent power networksunder realistic conditions.
The transformation of the energy system and the paradigm shift towardsintelligent network operation will influence our lives. At the same time,industry and society demand the highest degree of security of supply.Energy producers are therefore forced to put their network and operatingstructures to the test and to inquire into new products and services.
AN INDUSTRY IN TRANSITION
One of the biggest challenges here is the newly designed relationship be-tween suppliers and consumers: Whereas large power plant operatorsalone supplied energy in the past, today it is primarily photovoltaic plantsthat make power production possible even on a small scale. The consumerthus becomes a producer and also feeds electricity into the distribution net-work. The increased use of renewable sources of energy such as the sun orwind also takes the electricity infrastructure across Europe to its limits. In-telligent networks („Smart Grids“) are to guarantee the secure power sup-ply in the future even with a high proportion of decentralized generationplants. Integrated energy infrastructure planning is therefore essential.
CREATING NEW NETWORK STRUCTURES
Originally, the distribution networks were not built for today‘s increas-ingly decentralized generation. Therefore, the task now is to operatethe existing network infrastructure smarter – i.e. as „Smart Grids“. AIThas succeeded in ensuring that research, network operators and in-dustry are able to know the technical solutions and functions of systemconcepts and individual basic technologies. This knowledge can betransferred into different pilot projects. The AIT experts know how solu-tions for the integration of renewable energies or solutions for demandside management look like, and they also deal with the question ofwhich large-scale roll-out measures are necessary to implement theseapproaches – keywords in this context are: Replicability and scalability.The roll-out of intelligent electricity meters, the „smart meters“, playsa role here as well. All these developments go hand in hand.
SIMULATION AS BASIS FOR DECISION
As far as the network simulation is concerned, AIT is mainly concernedwith scenario calculations by means of numerical simulations. This an-alyzes how different technologies functionally and economically affectnetwork sections. In EU projects, network data from the major opera-tors are analyzed and attempts are made to draw up procedures basedon this. Ultimately, the big topic is the validation: It takes large-scaledemonstration projects to show – on the basis of real operation – thattheoretical approaches also work in practice. Only such major demon-stration projects enable further, decisive progress. Energy manage-ment of the future also requires reliable, available basic technologies.R & D activities, particularly in control engineering, as well as the mod-elling of data analytics or the further development of inverter systemsare significant approaches here: The important task is to bring moreand more decentralized storage production devices to the networks.This requires appropriate research projects, since new technologiesmust also be fitted into an available cost framework. Thus, AIT is at thevanguard of science and technology development. Last but not least,the AIT experts are engaged in a flagship project of European dimen-sions – the Seestadt Aspern in Vienna. Together with partners such asSiemens, Wien Energie and Wiener Netze, urban energy concepts oftomorrow are evaluated in practice here.
In the SmartEST laboratory at AIT, hardwaretests can be combined in a unique way with theadvantages of numerical real-time simulation.