ABS for the power grid
ABS for the power grid

A dynamic system for successful energy transition.

We need new network elements and new mechanisms in our power grid in order to create the basis for the integration of renewable energy sources and to maintain the current high level of security of supply. – This is exactly where the ABS4TSO (Advanced Balancing Services for Transmission System Operators) project comes into play. Using intelligent storage systems and other fast-response technologies new possibilities for stabilizing the national and European electricity transmission grid of the future are shown.

Project Story

The share of renewable energies in the European electricity supply is increasing all across the continent, a situation that has fundamental consequences for the region’s electricity transmission and distribution networks. The power grid can only function when the delicate balance between electricity supply and demand is precisely maintained. That balance is expressed in the grid frequency. At a grid frequency of 50 Hertz, the system is stable and the supply of electricity functions smoothly. Minor fluctuations from the 50Hz reference frequency are a matter of course for a grid operator such as APG. In fact, one of our key tasks is to keep such deviations within just a few millihertz on an ongoing basis.

However, the increase in the feed-in of renewable energies to the grid in combination with the decreasing shutdowns of thermal power plants in recent years has led to greater frequency fluctuations, which translates into a greater need for technical balancing mechanisms. APG is addressing the problem by developing intelligent assistance systems for power grid operations, akin to the ABS technology developed for cars. The “ABS for the power grid” project involves the exploration of the high-dynamic properties and possible use of an intelligent battery storage system that can help automatically maintain the grid frequency. Battery storage systems are becoming increasingly important in the supply of energy in that they enable electrical energy to be stored. The available technology in this field is already far advanced. What is new is the concept of using battery storage systems and other fast-response systems to make new, high-dynamic system services available to grid operators, and to define the future needs and requirements for such services in national and European context.

Just as anti-lock braking systems are used in cars as a type of active safety system, battery storage systems make use of intelligent algorithms to identify within milliseconds any frequency variations that the technical mechanisms in place are unable to compensate for, and to stabilise the grid. “ABS for the power grid” is the only project of its kind in Europe, and aims to provide the basis for technologically neutral solutions. Finally, the research results will be assessed in a technology-neutral manner and up-scaled in the European power grid.

“The core element of the project is a battery storage system with a capacity of 1MW/500kWh. Lithium ion batteries power the system, a proven standard in battery cell technology. By contrast, the inverter had to be customised for developing and testing high-dynamic control response and an option to adjust new parameters."

Project facts

Project Coordinator
Austrian Power Grid

Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Technical University of Vienna, VERBUND
Project Duration
May 2018 to December 2021
Project volume
2.6 Mio. EUR (excluding battery storage system),
of which EUR 1.8 million was provided by the Climate and Energy Fund under its Energy Research Programme