Electrical Engineering

Smart grid expansion - Decentralized low- and medium-voltage power grid control

Ref.-No. 4629

Keywords: Decentralized control for low and medium voltage grids, network status estimation, control of decentralized generation systems, avoidance of costly expansion of grid capacity, Smart Distribution Grids

Smart power grids can monitor and regulate themselves—depending on utilization, available capacity and the capability of existing infrastructure. A new process from the University of Wuppertal and SPIE SAG GmbH involves the installation of control units for low- and medium-voltage grids.

A higher control unit is installed in the main grid, i.e., the low- or medium-voltage grid, along with several lower control units in the sub-grids. These sub-grids are usually low-voltage grids or low-voltage grid segments, called local grids. The lower control unit is connected to a multitude of actuators, such as renewable energy-generating facilities or charging hubs that significantly influence the state of the sub-grid and can even alter it, if needed. This control unit compiles the relevant state data from the actuators and transmits it to the higher control unit. The higher control unit monitors the state of the main grid and can command one or more lower control units to take actions to stabilize the entire grid, though the lower control unit itself decides what actions to take in the sub-grid.

Competitive Advantages

  • Optimal control of low- and medium-voltage grids
  • Allows for cost-optimized grid expansion
  • Decentralized communication capability
  • High control potential with regard to power plants and consumers
  • Generates data for grid state estimations

Commercial Opportunities

Power grid operators and, in particular, distribution grid operators can benefit from this new technology in various ways since it can not only provide voltage stabilization but also avoid grid overloads. Another possibility is control with regard to power plants, such as solar and wind, as well as heavy consumers such as electric vehicles. Grid expansions can be optimized and targeted by efficiently and optimally utilizing existing grid capacity.

Current Status

A patent has been published under EP3168949A1 and granted in 12 EU countries. We are offering interested companies the opportunity to license and continue to develop this technology with the inventors at the University of Wuppertal.

Relevant Puclications

Korotkiewicz, K.; Steinbusch, P.; Modemann, M.; Paulat, F.; Zdrallek, M.; Hetzel, S.; Dietzler, U.; Vormelker, J.; Schlüter, U.: Medium Voltage Grid State Control as a Basic towards a Holistic Automation in Smart Distribution Systems Proceedings of the CIRED Workshop, Berlin (2020).

An invention of Bergische Universität Wuppertal.

Dipl.-Ing. Martin van Ackeren

+49 208 9410534