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First storage solution for self-healing power grids in the world

Today a Dutch consortium, in which DNV GL participates, launched a unique platform that allows local parts of the grid to disconnect from the central grid and self-heal

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A new solution for more resilient power grids: a platform that allows local parts of the grid to disconnect from the central grid and self-heal.
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  • Keywords: Energy, Energy

ARNHEM, the Netherlands - 16 October 2017 - The rapid increase of intermittent renewable energy is putting an increasing pressure on global electricity grids. To make power grids more resilient to external influences, today a Dutch consortium, in which DNV GL participates, launched a new solution: a platform that allows local parts of the grid to disconnect from the central grid and self-heal. The project is being supported with a subsidy from RVO-TKI Urban Energy.

Cellular Smart Grid Platform
This new grid solution, the Cellular Smart Grid Platform (CSGriP), divides the central grid into many small cells that have the ability to function autonomously. In case of a central grid power outage, these local cells take over control. They automatically start restoring all local sources of energy supply, such as solar and wind, and distribute this energy amongst local consumers. At the core of this local grid is an energy storage system developed by project coordinator Alfen. This solution ensures that the balance between production and consumption is maintained. Once the grid balance within a cell is restored, it automatically reconnects to other cells and, as such, quickly rebuilds the larger power grid. Consequently, both the duration and size of central grid power outages are reduced significantly.

The solution in practice
CSGriP is being field tested at the Application Centre for Renewable Resources (ACRRES) in Lelystad, the Netherlands. It combines local energy sources (solar, wind and biogas) with local energy consumers. At the heart of this infrastructure is an 0.5 MW energy storage system and a complex algorithm used for local energy management. 

Energy Storage Specialist Evert Raaijen (Alfen), comments: “Unique about this solution is that the local cells are intrinsically stable through self-adjustment of supply and demand based on the frequency of the electricity grid. This makes the grid truly self-healing in cases of central grid outages. The self-healing mechanism based on frequencies sets it apart from many IT-related smart grids that require relatively vulnerable data and ICT connections for balancing local grids.”

The future of power grids
The Cellular Smart Grid Platform can prepare grids that are already well-developed for a future that will be significantly more decentral and renewables-oriented. Furthermore, even bigger opportunities exist in parts of the world that still need to be electrified. Instead of constructing central systems based on large fossil-fuel power plants, local grids based on renewables are the logical approach in greenfield situations. 

Project team
The project is being supported with a subsidy from RVO-TKI Urban Energy and is led by Alfen. It brings together knowledge and expertise from project partners Delft University of Technology, Application Centre for Renewable Resources, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Avans University, Bredenoord, DNV GL and grid operator Alliander. 

DNV GL’s contribution
DNV GL together with Delft University of Technology developed the frequency based storage control algo-rithms. In simulations, the impact and effectiveness of this frequency control has been investigated for the ACRRES demo site. Now the frequency control has been implemented in the Alfen container, it will be test-ed at the ACRRES demo site. These real-life measurements will be used to validate the simulation results. 

DNV GL and energy storage
With proven strategic valuation tools, independent advisory expertise in and state-of-the art testing capabili-ties, we are uniquely qualified to help address challenges and opportunities for energy storage – today and into the future. Although we work extensively with technologies, we are not affiliated with any storage manu-facturer, nor are we invested or advocate any particular technology. We are an impartial, independent 3rd party evaluator helping clients understand all aspects of their potential investment decision in energy stor-age. More information: http://www.dnvgl.com/energystorage