ABS for the power grid
... a dynamic system for successful energy transition
To maintain the current high level of supply security, we need to create the basis for integrating renewable energy sources into the electricity grid by adding new grid components and mechanisms. And that’s exactly where Project ABS4TSO (Advanced Balancing Services for Transmission System Operators) comes in. The project involves using intelligent battery storage systems and other quick start technologies to demonstrate options for stabilising the Austrian and European electricity transport networks going forward.
The Hertz frequency of the European power grid
The share of renewable energies in the European electricity supply is growing across the entire continent. A situation that has fundamental consequences for the electricity transmission and distribution networks throughout the region. Power grids can only function if the delicate balance between electricity supply and demand is precisely maintained. That balance is indicated by the frequency of the grid. At a frequency of 50 hertz, the system is stable and the supply of electricity is maintained. Minor fluctuations from the 50 hertz reference frequency are a matter of course for a transmission system operator such as APG. In fact, keeping such fluctuations within a few millihertz at all times is our main responsibility.
However, the growing volumes of renewable energies being fed into the grid in combination with increasing shutdowns of thermal power plants in recent years has led to greater frequency fluctuations, resulting in a greater need for new balancing technologies.
An intelligent assistance system for power grid operation - ABS for the power grid
APG is addressing the problem by developing intelligent assistance systems for power grid operation, similar to the anti-lock braking system technology developed for modern cars. Fast-reacting and intelligently controlled battery storage systems are becoming increasingly important in this respect, as they can compensate for such frequency fluctuations almost in real time.
Our “ABS for the power grid” project involves conducting research on the highly dynamic properties of intelligent battery storage systems and their possible applications, such as automatically maintaining grid frequency. Because they are capable of storing electrical energy, battery storage systems are becoming increasingly important in energy supply. The available technologies in this field are already well advanced. What’s new is the concept of using battery storage to provide grid operators with new, highly dynamic system services to ensure system stability, as well as defining the need for such services and the requirements to implement them in both a national and a European context.
Just as ABS are used in cars as a kind of active safety system, battery storage systems utilise intelligent algorithms for the purpose of identifying and offsetting any fluctations in frequency within milliseconds. The only project of its kind in Europe, “ABS for the power grid” aims to create the basis for technologically neutral solutions. At the end of the project, a technically neutral assessment of the research findings will be made and the findings will be scaled up for use in European electricity networks.
Austria's electricity grid - batteries for better grid stability
“At the heart of the project is a 1-MW/500-kWh battery storage system. Lithium-ion battery cell technologies are a proven standard. By contrast, inverters have to be custom designed to ensure they provide sufficient flexibility for conducting research in a highly dynamic range and have their own parameterisation options for running field tests."
Austrian Power Grid
Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Vienna University of Technology, VERBUND
May 2018 - December 2021
€2.6m (excluding battery storage system), €1.8m of which was provided by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund as part of its energy research programme