In recent years, the power system has drastically changed. Traditionally there were large, centralized production units on one side and centralized consumption areas on the other side. Due to large incentives, arising primarily from the environmental reasons, the penetration of the distributed (renewable) energy sources (DRES) has drastically increased and therefore the classical understanding of the power system has changed. All these changes and issues are the driver for constant development and improvement of the solutions in the field of generation, energy consumption, as well as advanced operation and control algorithms for the power system.
From the technical point of view, the most important issue is the nature of power feed-in of the DRES. They are very intermittent and thus it is hard to predict when the power will be produced. On the other hand, the network wasn’t designed for mass integration of DRES, which results in poor network performance in case of high DRES production. Primary role of the distribution network was to support power flow from the transmission network to the end customers. Nowadays, due to DRES, the direction of the power-flow can change.
These changes can have a high stress on the voltage quality and reliability of supply in the network. Over-voltages, congestions and impact on protection devices are only few of the issues and challenges of the Distribution System Operators (DSOs). However, since DRES are highly desired, especially due to environmental aspects, all issues regarding operation and control of the distribution power system have to be tackled accordingly.
The INCREASE project focuses on the development of the solutions which address the question “How to increase the integration of renewable power in the distribution network”. The objective is followed from different perspectives, such as analysis of the power system problems, mapping possible solutions, development of the advanced voltage control algorithms, implementation of the algorithms into the prototypes, evaluation of the solutions by means of field trials and preparation of the regulatory framework. Using this approach, maximal exploitation of the project outcomes and integration of the solutions into real-life European distribution networks can be achieved.
The INCREASE solutions consist of advanced control of DRES generation and implementation of demand response using controllable loads. INCREASE control schemes are used to cope with voltage issues and congestions in the distribution network. A cornerstone of the INCREASE solutions is an advanced PV inverter with integrated droop control. Using droop, the inverter can curtail the PV output in case of high voltage at the connection point of the inverter. That way over-voltages are avoided, in addition the green energy feed-in is maintained at certain level and not completely shut-down as in case of classic PV inverters.
Advanced INCREASE control scheme consists of three layers, from local to the control centre level in order to achieve maximal benefits:
To develop and enhance a complete set of the INCREASE solutions, different partners from industry are required. The development process can be divided into various fields of required technical expertise:
For maximal exploitation of the INCREASE solutions potential, as many as possible generation and load units have to be included into the process. The participation of the units has to be driven by the energy market incentives and regulatory framework. Different market players can compete for the best business model, which includes analysis of the potential units, their owners and unit aggregation to provide the service of flexibility of energy generation/demand and use to the power market stakeholders.
From the energy market’s point of view, the potential in the industry arises from:
Within the duration of the INCREASE project, the consortium partners have delivered many results and answers to the question how the developed solutions have to be properly addressed and implemented into real-life environment:
Using the outcomes of the INCREASE project, together with strong cooperation with different industrial stakeholders, can result in further improvement of the INCREASE solutions and mass implementation into the distribution networks of European DSOs. That way an important step towards reliable energy supply and increased penetration of DRES can be made.