Smart Grid

The topic of energy management and distribution is of increasing interest due to the ongoing decentralization of energy production. In this context, ifak is focused on the integration of dispersed generation units (photovoltaic, combined heat and power, wind power) into the electrical distribution grid to avoid degradation of power quality and system stability.

istribution grid operators are faced with an increasing number of dispersed energy resources that have to be connected to the power grid with priority due to regulatory requirements. This situation leads to decentralized supply of electrical energy at all voltage levels. Depending on the time of day the generated power may exceed the local demand resulting in reversed power flow direction up to higher voltage levels. Without monitoring and control of the distribution grid, congestion and overloading of grid assets may happen unless expensive grid extensions are applied. Another problem is that voltage limits may be exceeded especially on long distribution feeders with high penetration of power producers. 

The need for active monitoring and control of the distributed components in power grids can be met by decentralized automation concepts. The development, simulation, and evaluation of these automation concepts are subjects of ongoing research. The focus is on transfer and adaption of the methodological and technological know-how in the area of industrial production automation to the requirements of power grid automation. Topics addressed in this context include the following:

  • Information technologies for active control of distribution grid components
  • Modelling and simulation of distribution grids with dispersed generation
  • Application of distributed automation concepts in energy networks