Project Interim Report - EU commission in Brussels

On the 10th of March 2011, after a year of intensive work in Brussels Web2Energy's team announced that all duties planned for 2010 were fulfilled. This was announced to the representatives of the EU and the reviewers from Great Britain and Romania. The following results were presented:

End of Working Package 1 – Data, Customers, Strategy
In the first phase all conditions for the upcoming installations of the smart meters and the remote terminal units (RTUs) in the various locations and the control centre were developed to establish the three pillars of smart distribution.

These are the results:

Network automation
Until now, after a disturbance in the network and subsequent supply interruption, staff had to check in sequence all short circuit indicators in the local terminals to determine the source of the fault. Then the needed switch operations were executed. All these procedures are very time intensive and cost as a rule 1-2 h. Now this procedure is automated in the Web2Energy-project for a part of the 20 kV network by remote control. Supply recovery can be achieved in seconds.

For this an open 20KV-loop in the area of the substation Ober-Roden was selected.  Eight 20 / 0,4 kV terminal stations in which automation and supervision of the network seemed most favorable are obtained with remote controlling features of the switchgear, smart meters and RTUs to significantly shorten the supply interruption times after faults. Supervision of the voltage is now possible, which allows the prevention of dangerous voltage dips.


Biogas plant in Darmstadt
Hydro power station on the Neckar
Wind Park in the area of Odenwald

Smart Aggregation
On the generation side various decentralized power producers could be convinced to take part in the project: 6 plants with cogeneration of heat and power, 6 photovoltaic plants, 3 wind parks, 2 bio-gas plants and 2 hydroelectric power plants. These producers will be equipped with RTU and the smart meters. Together with 20 distributed storage units these producers will be monitored by the virtual power plant and are also partly controlled. The strategies for the coordination of the participants in the virtual power station were developed for maximum effectiveness.

Smart Metering
In the network area of the HSE six city with new housing areas were selected for the consumer study. Here about 200 power consumers will be equipped for the pilot project with Smart Meters.

To show how consumers can obtain simple, easily understood information as to whether energy is inexpensive or expensive, compared to the day after, a bonus system was developed and a special consumer web portal. In the first phase the participants receive daily information on the Internet, by email or via mobile phone, alerting them when it would be cheaper to use energy the next day and to use washing machines, for example, and times when it would be advantageous to save energy. A traffic light system clearly illustrates the daily periods: Red = energy saving - green = energy consumption is beneficial. In the second phase, participants also receive, in addition to the red-and-green phases, bills that present the tariffs for energy. On this base a bonus system is establish to influence the consumer's behavior. The better one household adapts its consumption behavior to the traffic light colors, the higher the bonus.

Language, technology and data
The whole system architecture of the communication between all participants was created in the first year. In addition to the functions and processes of the virtual power station and the network automation, communications between the installed devices were defined.

For every participant – whether consumer, producer or local terminal – the most favorable communication channel had to be defined – over radio links like UTMS, GPRS or telecommunication copper cables  (DLS), or fiber optic cables, or over the power cables itself (by Distribution Line Carrier).
 As the "language" used for exchanging the information, the standard IEC 61850 (from the International Electro-technical  Commission) was chosen. This "language" was developed for the substations. Now, this standard shall be extended to cover smart distribution. Web2Energy will use IEC 61850 for all future services in the distribution network and implementation of functions not performed by the existing standard. A member of the consortium is the Chairman of the relevant working group in the IEC and he together with other members will ensure the incorporation of innovations into the standard.

Another main focus of the work was the concept of the control centre with the database and the design of the interactive display with the human-machine interface. Currently, different database systems with different information modeling exist on the market. In the Web2Energy-project this will be also standardized. In the project the data format CIM (the common information model accordingly IEC) will be used. It is extended for the new services; these innovations are also incorporated in the relevant standard IEC 61968/70.
In the control centre of the virtual power station all data are collected– the data of the automated network part in Ober-Roden, as well as of the producers of the virtual power plant and the data consumers with smart meters. For this, the complete management of the data and an interactive menu (Human-Machine Interface) had to be developed to work with the mass of data and to be able to release the desired processes.

Market models
In any pilot project, figuring out how to transfer the results into practice is a major concern. In this, case, how the producers and storage are monitored and controlled in a way that they can reach an optimum profit and work economically. It was decided to develop 2 strategies, because today's regulations still prevent an economical operation of virtual power plants. A "present strategy" was developed: The virtual power station is coordinated so that it is operated under today's conditions.

  • Improved balancing of reactive power
  • Minimum of balance deviations inside the balancing area
  • Voltage control in one critical node of the 20-kV-network.

In addition, a "prospective strategy" was indicated with simulation of the coordination under future regulation terms. This concerns:

  • Day-ahead scheduling of the balancing area including the renewable energy sources with optimum day-ahead spot market participation,
  • Maximum renewable energy production,
  • Online optimizing – internal or external compensation of schedule deviations,
  • Intra-day spot market participation,
  • Minute reserve power provision.

European-wide exchange of views
Beside its research subjects is Web2Energy's goal to promote the exchange of the German and European projects in the area of "smart distribution".

From the 12th to the 13th of April, 2011 the symposium initiated by Web2Energy, "Distribution networks of the future: Novel solutions of the information and communication technology as the backbone of Smart Distribution" took place in Darmstadt under the patronage of the EU commission, the world-wide organization for high-voltage transmission systems CIGRE C6 and the VDE (ETG). All 6 EU-research projects and 6 E-Energy projects from Germany were united under one roof, which resulted an active exchange of views – also with the representatives of the EU, from the Federal Ministry for Economy as well as from the world-wide organizations CIGRE and IEC.

We proudly noted that in addition to more than 200 participants from Germany, guests from Austria, Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Spain were also in attendance.

All presentations of the symposium are available here.


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