Adaptricity helps distribution grid operators meet the various challenges they face due to the Energy Transition. We pride ourselves on offering each customer a tailor-made solution and ensuring they receive first-class support and advice.
Swiss utility company EBL is now having to handle an increasing number of photovoltaic connection requests. In rural areas in particular, the question often arises of whether the grid might be stretched to its limits as a result of decentralized feed-in. To ensure it can continue to guarantee first-class grid quality, EBL needs a long-term solution strategy.
With Adaptricity.Sim, Adaptricity enables a comprehensive understanding of the novel impact resulting from PV expansion in a subgrid of EBL.
Phase 1 – Grid modeling and analysis of grid load
As a first step, the selected electrical grid area was simulated by using available data. This was then used as input for more detailed analyses of current grid load.
Phase 2 – Simulation of additional PV connections
Using a targeted, time series-based simulation of additional PV connections to the grid, it was possible to model and analyze the potential impact on the grid. Here, an investigation was also made into which lines needed to be reinforced first for conventional grid expansion and what benefit the deployment of intelligent systems such as controllable grid transformers (OLTCs) would bring in a real-world context.
«With the time series-based analyses provided by Adaptricity.Sim, we can now make precise estimates of where additional connections from PV systems are possible without causing problems and where these might cause voltage band violations or congestion. At the same time, the transparency obtained gives us decision-making criteria we can use when evaluating various smart grid technologies.»
Thomas Wenger, Head of Grid Development, Genossenschaft Elektra Baselland
Swiss utility EKZ commissioned Adaptricity to investigate the integration of various smart grid technologies into an existing distribution grid. One case involved a parking garage for electric vehicles. The project goal was an energy- and budget-based evaluation of the individual grid expansion options (including potential control strategies).
Phase 1 – Grid mapping
In a base case simulation, the available data from the real grid area were aggregated within Adaptricity.Sim.
Phase 2 – Creation and simulation of expansion scenarios
Two expansion scenarios were then simulated: the construction of a photovoltaic system and the retrofitting of a parking garage with fast charging points for electric vehicles. In this context, numerous smart grid technologies were reviewed in terms of their suitability for safe grid integration.
Phase 3 – Review of results and investigation of alternatives
In the case of the parking garage, the simulations showed how simultaneous charging is the primary factor that would stretch the installed transformer to its limits. Accordingly, various grid expansion options such as the deployment of a battery or load curtailment system were evaluated, and carefully considered in terms of energy-based and economic aspects.
Alongside a comprehensive understanding of the grid, Adaptricity used Adaptricity.Sim to supply a detailed evaluation of various smart grid expansion variants. This analysis highlighted both the technical and economic benefits or drawbacks of each variant, while simultaneously accounting for conventional grid expansion.
«We’re running a smart grid study with Adaptricity because they provide an end-to-end analysis of the paradigms involved in active distribution grids. Adaptricity.Sim not only lets us investigate the influence of storage systems but also the impact of actively self-optimizing prosumers.»
Michael Koller, Head of Technology Management, EKZ
With an eye on the Energy Transition, the municipal public utility in Winterthur, Switzerland is looking to create greater transparency in its medium-voltage grid. Key points of interest here included the actual load as well as capacity reserves of the existing grid infrastructure.
Phase 1 – Modeling of the medium-voltage grid
Existing data were utilized to model the medium-voltage grid in Adaptricity.Sim. Missing power time-series from non-measured transformer stations were synthesized and extrapolated based on existing data.
Phase 2 – Analysis of grid loads and one-year simulation
This was then used as the basis for creating one-year simulations and analyses of grid loading at the medium-voltage level. Potential future grid expansion options were also tested for their suitabilty.
«The detailed simulations with Adaptricity.Sim give us an accurate summary of the dynamics of our distribution grid. The transparency we obtain here helps us to ensure that we will be able to guarantee what is already a first-class security of supply for electricity into the future.»
Helen Reist, Project Manager Smart Energy, Stadtwerk Winterthur
In recent years, Technische Betriebe Glarus Nord (TBGN, Switzerland) have invested heavily in the rollout of smart meters and transformer measuring devices. To ensure that the information obtained can be utilized profitably, TBGN requires an automated solution for the continuous analysis of the data collected.
Adaptricity ensures that TGBN can utilize the obtained data intelligently:
- Import of grid topology from the GIS system
- Regular import of smart meter data collected and automated setup of the corresponding simulation scenarios
- Continuous monitoring of voltage and component loading by automated grid simulation and evaluation of the results
The goal of the SoloGrid flagship project is to investigate the influence and impact of innovative smart grid technologies (GridSense) in distribution grids under real-world conditions. The aim here is to demonstrate how stable distribution grid operations can be ensured despite an increase in decentralized power generation and a rise in electromobility in the years to come. At the same time, grid expansion is to be limited where possible. SoloGrid is supported by the Canton of Solothurn and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy as part of its flagship project program.
Project partners: Alpiq, AEK Energie AG, Adaptricity, Landis+Gyr, Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE)
Phase 1: Installation and commissioning of smart meters and GridSense units in AEK’s test area.
Phase 2: In a second project phase, metering data was collected continuously and the effectiveness of GridSense was analyzed statistically based on these measurements. Adaptricity used Adaptricity.Sim to perform time-series based grid simulations. In this context, various aspects of the GridSense technology were simulated in the pilot grid. As one example, the GridSense technology was being compared with other, conventional grid expansion solutions.
Further information about the project is available from www.sologrid.ch
Partnership: Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), Industrielle Werke Basel (IWB), ETH Zürich, Adaptricity
The goal of the research project was to investigate innovative data analytics methods enabling the specific application of smart metering data to distribution grid operations and planning. The key driver for this project was an interest in obtaining the kinds of improved visibility and control options for electricity distribution grids offered to distribution grid operators by smart metering data – providing the DSO access to suitable methods for data processing, data aggregation, data analysis and data visualization.
Working to this project goal, IWB (the electric utility for the City of Basel, Switzerland) provided large volumes of anonymized grid operations data sourced from smart meters (40,000+), corporate customers and PV systems for this research project. In the course of the project, a conceptual model was developed for various types of smart metering devices for Adaptricity’s smart grid simulation platform Adaptricity.Sim.
In addition, a grid state estimator was designed specifically for the utilization of smart metering data. The operational data supplied by IWB was used to perform a comprehensive analysis of the data, including data clustering and demand forecasting. As a final step, retrospective simulations were then performed in the pilot grid area Kleinhüningeranlage and Bischoffshöhe in the City of Basel.
In this project, decision-support systems (DSS) were developed in the form of two toolboxes for daily grid operations and for the grid planning of electricity distribution grids with a high proportion of wind and solar power, flexible loads and decentralized energy storage systems. This approach is intended to ensure the cost-effective integration of a larger proportion of renewable energy sources and electric mobility into future distribution grids.
Building on the grid simulations offered by Adaptricity’s SmartGrid platform, the toolboxes enable for optimization-driven decision support grid operation activities – such as a reduction in the costly curtailment of decentralized power generation or power consumption during a temporary transport bottleneck in the grid infrastructure. At the same time, grid planning work can utilize the automated creation of the most cost-effective grid reinforcement options for frequently occurring grid congestion scenarios. This kind of functionality offers considerable added value for grid operators, since the often extremely time-consuming steps related to grid operations and grid planning can be fully automated.