Along with feed-in adjustments, such as curtailment of generation and consumption, an optimized usage of coupling- and sectioning switches can offer additional degrees of freedom for electrical grid operation and operational planning. The selection and planning of suitable topology switching measures and coordination with further degrees of freedom represent a complex task for distribution and transmission system operation. Short- to medium-term congestions can be alleviated more easily especially for uncertain future supply scenarios or delayed grid expansion.
Using detailed modelling, the benefit of optimized network switching and necessary investments (e.g. remote sensing and actuation) can be determined and benchmarked against conventional expansion and reinforcement measures. Both at transmission and distribution grid level, the respective immanent boundary conditions of the system need to be modelled explicitly. Furthermore, the model is used to decide whether the topological measures are to be used preventively, i.e. independent of possible failure situations, or curatively, i.e. only as a consequence of a certain outage. Due to high combinatorics and the binary character of topological degrees of freedom, complexity reducing approaches are oftentimes necessary to consider optimal switching within grid operation simulations.