Island & Microgrids:

Small Tasks with Great Potential

Island grids are an electrical power supply task with a small number of power generating plants and consumers. Island grids do not have a synchronous connection to a large network and therefore have to be able to provide all tasks necessary for long-lasting and safe operation on their own. Microgrids are similar, but also have the capability to connect synchronously to a large network. Island grids are typically the result of geographical circumstances that render the connection to a large network costly or even impossible. Microgrids, in contrast, are designed to increase the security of supply whenever the large network breaks down.

Balancing on shaky ground

One challenge of island grids and microgrids is to maintain the balance between production and consumption. Diesel generators are still frequently used for this task. Due to the unavoidable dependence on fuel price and delivery options, and the environmental impact, alternatives are being sought. Wind and solar power are independent imported fuels and environmentally friendly, and therefore the logical choice for island and microgrids. However, these renewable energies are dependent on variable resource availability; hence their maximum production capacity is subject to natural fluctuations. It is therefore important to develop strategies on how to align production and consumption in the best possible way. For this purpose, a selective adjustment of the consumption, an increase in the production capacities or a temporal shift of electrical energy through storage can be useful.

No (co-)operation without rules

Renewable energies are often connected via inverter-based systems. These have complex controller structures, making their behavior more accessible to system programming and less dependent on physical responses. As a result, much functionality can be implemented, but it needs to be tuned to the specific island or micro grid environment. Static and dynamic stability can be investigated in simulations. Detailed models of the grid, the loads, the existing generators and the controllers are necessary for this task. Thus, the interaction of the individual components can be checked for compatibility and safety before the integration of new systems. In particular, the transition of a microgrid from parallel operation to self-sustaining operation can place high demands on the control responses.

In brief
  • Island and microgrids have a limited number of players.
  • In search of optimal balance, island and micro grids struggle with the variability of load and generation.
  • Control concepts verified through simulations ensure safe operation.

Consultancy, Research and Development:

A Selection of our Broad Service Portfolio.

Grid Code Development

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Power Generating Unit Modelling

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Grid Studies

When integrating renewable energies, questions of system security and cost-efficiency arise. We have the right answers! By means of detailed analyses, simulations and lots of experience.

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