During the last years numerous individual concepts emerged, which promised to be the solution for the challenges of the energy transformation. These included combined heat and power, load control, network expansion, adjustable transformers, smart grids, electrified traffic and many more.
Integrated approaches are necessary to solve the central challenges of the energy transition: securing the energy balance, the adjustment of distribution grids and the compensation for the loss of power control. We assume that all individual concepts together can pave the way for the energy transition. No approach will meet all challenges of the energy transformation alone.
To combine the individual concepts, the single system components have to be intelligently interconnected. This leads to the concept of microgrids.
A microgrid is an electrical distribution grid which interconnects and controls individual, decentral power system components, like the electricity generators, storages and consumers. The underlying communication network has a decisive influence on the mode of operation of the network. New concepts like the coupling of power and heat offer the opportunity that the power system and heat system mutually benefit. The heat system has low time requirements which can be exploited similar to an electrical storage. The surplus electricity can be used for hot water preparation.
The figure to the right illustrates such a microgrid. The grid is connected through the point of common coupling (PCC) to the higher level grid. We consider the power, heat and communication network. The communication network is composed of wired and wireless transmission mediums. Large parts of the energy are produced by decentralized, renewable energies. Through the PCC the surplus energy can be traded in the higher level system.
We consider the micro grid at the system level. An integrated approach is decisive for valid results. Thereby the following subprojects are considered:
- SP1: Electrical energy supply
- SP2: Thermal energy supply
- SP3: Communication technology
- SP4: Control engineering
- SP5: Energy management
All fundamental research topics of a microgrid are covered with these subprojects.