"iNES" – The Core Element of Smart Grid:
Hessian Secretary of the Environment Lucia Puttrisch informs herself about research project at Mainova AG
As a result of the energy turnaround, today more and more citizens become electricity producers.
The "consumer" is now also a "producer" who feeds power decentrally generated by photovoltaic cells or micro cogeneration plants into the national grid.
The existing power supply network however, designed for the distribution of electricity generated by a relatively small number of centrally located large-scale power plants, is not fit for this new situation.
Together with the University of Wuppertal, SAG GmbH and Helmut Mauell GmbH, Mainova AG investigates in the grid area of Netzdienste Rhein-Main GmbH how the low-voltage grid can be made fit to cope with these new requirements. At Mainova corporate headquarters, the Hessian Environment Secretary Lucia Puttrisch informed herself about this research project initiated in 2011 and the possible solution: "The intelligent distribution substations" (iNES). iNES measures the load flow in the grid and then intelligently controls power distribution on the basis of these measurements. How the intelligent distribution substation iNES works was explained to the secretary by Mainova AG chairman Dr. Constantin H. Alsheimer and Mainova engineering executive Dr. Peter Birkner together with Prof. Dr. Markus Zdrallek from the University of Wuppertal.
"We are confronted with the task to react to the changes in the national grid's power flows and load situations. Today, 97 percent of the renewable energy is fed into the grid on the distribution network level. With the technology developed by Mainova AG and its project partners, we will be able to maintain a high level of stability for the power grid of Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main area," says Dr. Constantin H. Alsheimer, Mainova AG chairman.
"The rapidly growing number of decentralized feed-ins from renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic plants and wind power plants pose a major challenge to power grid operators. We must ensure the integration of decentralized power production into the supply network in order to make the transition to alternative energy sources a success. And above all, we need stable grids.
iNES ensures the feed-in of volatile energy into an existing network by way of intelligent control, adding to the stability of the power supply system and thus helping to reduce cost-intensive grid expansion measures", says Lucia Puttrisch, Secretary of the Environment.
With respect to the technological requirements of the energy turnaround, Mainova engineering executive Dr. Peter Birkner says: "The upcoming conversion of the national grids to Smart Grids can only be achieved by implementing intelligent technologies. With iNES, we developed for the first time a system solution that makes it possible to monitor low-voltage grids with only a small number of measuring points. iNES represents the technological basis for the implementation of a Smart Grid. This solution does not require the country-wide installation of Smart Meters and can therefore be implemented immediately."
Prof. Dr. Markus Zdrallek says:"With this technology we will be able to reduce cost-intensive grid expansion measures on the one hand and ensure supply security on the other hand by integrating renewable energy into the grid. This innovative solution is an efficient way to make distribution networks future-proof, following the motto 'Intelligence instead of copper' to keep the energy turnaround affordable".