Three pillars of Smart Grids in distribution systems
The project Web2Energy is directed to implement and approve all three pillars of "Smart Distribution".
1. Smart Metering – the consumer participates in the energy market
A few hundred electricity consumers in the supply area of HSE AG will be obtained with smart meters. These advanced meters provide many innovative functions:
- Remote reading of metered values in short term intervals,
- Reception and visualization of price signals (variable rates)
- Disturbance signals and management of failures
- Estimation of manipulations and stolen energy
- Permanent meter data storage and monitoring of load profiles
- Supervision and control of distributed power producer, storage and controllable loads
Furthermore, they provide gateways to monitor the current demand with the related costs and to further functions of building automation and in-house energy management (smart home). Variable (up to hourly) rates are offered to the clients. Current rates, the rate forecasts and the current demand are monitored. The consumer gets the opportunity to control his demand regarding non time critical loads in accordance with the offered rates. The project Web2Energy is able to achieve experiences with such a practice. The advanced meter technology comes from Landis + Gyr Austria.
2. Smart Energy Management – Clustering of small power producers
A large number of small independent power producers are supervised and coordinated in such a way that at each moment a scheduled power feeds into the distribution network in accordance with the current demand or the request from the market. Consequently, the deviation of fluctuating wind or solar power from the predictions can be compensated in real-time through the aggregation with controllable generators, loads and storage in the framework of a virtual power plant (VPP). Inside the supply area of the HSE AG this coordination will be applied with benefits. Parallel with a number of volatile of wind power and photovoltaic plants a large number controllable hydro and thermo power plants with cogeneration of heat and power (CHP), storage and controllable industrial loads are in operation. They are able to contribute to the generation and load management. The central operated VPP participates on the markets for energy and control power and optimizes the operations and the overall power in-feed. In this way all participants can achieve higher efficiency and higher compensation of their expenses in comparison with the single market access. To support the VPP operations advanced storage technologies will be established. The EUS GmbH Dortmund implements the VPP procedures. The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) contributes its experience of market access.
3. Smart Distribution Automation – higher reliability of supply
Today supply interruptions happen very rarely. When they do occur, they are caused by 96% in the medium (MV)-/low (LV) voltage distribution networks. In the case of a disturbance an inspection team has to drive along the MV/LV-terminals for disturbance allocation and supply recovery by switching operations. These procedures take on average 1 hour or more. The Web2Energy project implements an automated sequence to execute the former manual processes in a selected area of the HSE AG. This approach cuts the supply interruption down to minutes. Consequently, the very high reliability of supply in Germany will be significantly improved. The necessary control technology comes from iPLS (PL).
Linking the users: All three pillars of smart distribution require the information exchange between the users of the network like consumers, producers, terminals, control centre of the network operator, traders and VPP. Communication channels have to cover also the last meters to these participants.