Chair Active Energy Distribution Grids

  Analysing measurement values from a switch cabinet Copyright: Martin Braun

The ongoing energy transition towards an increasing share of distributed generation and flexible loads imposes new challenges and opportunities for distribution system operators with respect to grid planning and operation. The professorial chair Active Energy Distribution Grids therefore works on the development of innovative concepts for the assessment and operation of future distribution grids as well as concepts for grid planning and expansion. In particular, the potential of the increasing digitalisation, the use of DC technologies and cross-sectoral solutions with integrated operation and planning strategies are focal points of the conducted research. Moreover, concepts and regulations to access distributed flexibilities within economic, grid- and system-oriented coordination mechanisms are developed. Based on dynamic system studies, the reliable and stable distribution grid operation is evaluated for critical system states to ensure the successful integration of new types of equipment. In addition, methods for the cooperative detection of IT attacks in increasingly interlinked systems are developed using synthetic IT attack paths, which are then used to derive resilient IT system architectures.

The different solutions rely on mathematical optimisation, evolutionary algorithms, theoretical model analysis methods, machine learning, co-simulation of energy information networks, detailed time-domain simulations as well as comprehensive laboratory testing. They are developed and further enhanced in the context of publicly funded research projects as well as in close cooperation with our partners from the industry. Across the institute, the research groups are actively working together in the fields of expertise Asset Management, Flexibility Coordination and Protection & Stability. Moreover, the chair has a close cooperation with the associated Institute for Automation of Complex Power Systems and the department Digital Energy of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT) allowing an extended multi-disciplinary research approach.

Key research topics

  • Analysis and evaluation of power and gas distribution grids as well as heating networks
  • Integration of renewable energies and sector coupling assets
  • Development of system planning and operation methods
  • Economic, grid- and system-oriented coordination of distributed flexibility
  • Power grid economics and regulation
  • Strategies for digitalisation, automation and IT security in resilient distribution grids
  • Assessment of the stability in active distribution grids including concepts for temporary islanded operation and grid restoration
  • Development and conduct of testing methods at the Center for Grid Integration and Storage Technologies