ABS for the power grid
“ABS” for the power grid
A dynamic system for successful energy transition.

Current Innovation Project

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 as 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 its key tasks is to keep such deviations within just a few millihertz on an ongoing basis.

However, the increase in recent years in the feed-in of renewable energies to the grid 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 modern cars. The “ABS for the power grid” project involves research on 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 relatively far advanced. What is new is the concept of using battery storage systems to make system services available to grid operators in the short term.

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 seconds any frequency variations that the technical mechanisms in place are unable to compensate for. The idea is for the storage system to work fully automatically 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.

Project facts

Project Partners
Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Technical University of Vienna, VERBUND
Project Duration
May 2018 to April 2021
Project volume

EUR 2.6 million (excluding the battery storage units), EUR 1.8 million of which is subsidised through the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund as part of its energy research programme

Project coordinator
Austrian Power Grid