30 June 2022
LACROIX SAE IT
VeN²uS? A new ESA project? No, far from it, but a look at the project‘s namesake provides an interesting introduction. Venus is considered the sister planet of Earth. It is almost exactly the same size and its orbit is only 40 million kilometers away from that of Earth. However, both planets developed very differently: while on Earth the variety of organisms familiar to us today has developed, on Venus an effect not unknown to us ensures a surface temperature of 470 degrees Celsius. On Venus there is an extreme greenhouse effect.
Of course, this comparison is lopsided, but at one extreme it illustrates the importance of renewable energies in the energy mix of the future. With increasing weighting, the challenges for grid stability also increase. The increasing integration of decentralized generation plants (DEA) creates new feed-in points in the distribution grid level, which can cause grid bottlenecks and power flow shifts there. Re-feeding into the superimposed grid level and frequent grid topology changes are already necessary today. If uncontrollable conditions are detected for the existing protection concept, fast action is required and the DEA must be deactivated.
This is precisely where the VeN²uS (VErNetzte NetzschUtzSysteme, connected network protection system) research project comes in. Digitally networked and flexibly adaptable, the research project is intended to create more capacities for the transport of green electricity and ensure supply security in the grid of the future, even with fl uctuating feed-ins of renewable energy. The aim of the research project is to develop and implement an adaptive and networked grid protection system that adjusts the protection parameters in the event of power flow shifts and topology changes and ensures safe operation.
The project team consists of two distribution grid operators, one control system, one communications technology, one protection device and one protection test device manufacturer each, as well as a software developer for the digitalization of distribution grid operation and four university partners. This cooperation is to develop and test such an innovative grid protection system over the next three years under the leadership of Schleswig-Holstein Netz AG (SH Netz). The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) under the 7th Energy Research Program and has a project budget of over eight million euros. SAE IT-systems is one of the 11 partners forming the interdisciplinary project team.
Product Manager Christof Maahsen, the project manager responsible for the research project at SAE IT-systems, explains: “80% of the energy required in Germany is to be provided from renewable energy sources by 2050. It is obvious that this can only be achieved with a significant change in the existing infrastructures. Digital security concepts are indispensable for this future power grid. In the VeN²uS project, the strengths of the individual partners are networked. The new grid protection system is designed to centrally converge data streams and automatically calculate new setting parameters that match the current network situation.
“To this end, the project team is first developing an adaptive network protection algorithm that enables the system to learn continuously. In parallel, resilient and reliable communication and protection test concepts are being researched. We are very proud to be part of this forward-looking project.“
The solution developed is not only being tested in the laboratory as usual, but is also being tested for the first time in Germany in a comprehensive field trial in a real distribution network area of SH Netz. The new grid protection system will be installed parallel to the existing protection devices in the substations and switchgear. This ensures that the new system does not affect the daily network management and can still be tested under real conditions.
It is hoped that the system will not only make a positive contribution to the energy transition and security of supply, but will also have a positive effect on efficiency and capacity utilization.