Smart Hybrid – the intelligent grid solution
Nationwide secure and comprehensive power supply is becoming increasingly important worldwide – especially under economic and ecological aspects. Numerous diesel generated off-grid systems supply remote villages or industrial facilities with power. This harbours an enormous development potential for the use of so-called “Smart Grids”.
Existing off-grid systems could easily become “intelligent” grids, combining different types of power generation units to their availability. An expansion using renewable energy systems needs to be contemplated, whereas its use requires an availability analysis.
ABZ Aggregate-Bau GmbH & Co. KG in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg (HAW Hamburg) focussed on a scientific work to demonstrate potential opportunities. In addition, simulation tools were developed for a global analysis of such smart grids. Different energy sources are combined with each other in the process and combined with their economic and ecological advantages (possible combination: see diagram).
Due to the convincing advantages of a smart grid a test field has been set up to carry out further investigations. It was particularly important for the ABZ technicians not only to realise a so called mild hybrid system, but also to implement fully-fledged hybrid systems. Since spring 2017 different scenarios are being tested involving grid architecture, economy of the combinations and productivity depending on the weather. This guarantees that a system is tailored as precisely as possible to the requirements.
The difference lies in the grid architecture of the two systems. The mild hybrid system transfers the formation of a grid to a stable power generation system that continuously must be held active in the grid. The regenerative systems are passively implemented in the grid to reduce grid consumption. In this case it is essential to regulate the base load.
The full-scale hybrid system allows a completely emission-free operation without using generators. This enables further resource savings and noise emissions during low load phases (e.g. at night). The generator units become passive members of the smart grid without network instability.
In addition the internal test runs showed, that even small capacity systems which have been discarded before as being seemingly too small, too expensive or inefficient, to certain consumers can be a sensible alternative. Even in the view of unfavourable weather conditions it is worthwhile to take a closer look.
Result of the analyses:
„Calculations carried out have revealed enormous benefits associated with hybrid systems compared to energy generation from purely fossil sources. Further studies to address the resulting grid stabilities can be built on the findings of the thesis.“1
1 Hybrid Offgrid Power Generation (2016), N. Beckmann, S. 142
Text: N. Beckmann, S. Krämer