Controlling electricity flows
Power electronics-based alternatives to phase-shifting transformers reduce bottlenecks in the power grid.
Limits of the power grid
The ongoing expansion of renewable energy throughout Europe and the associated increase in cross-border electricity supplies present APG with a number of challenges. Many aspects involved in transforming the energy system need to be handled using existing transmission grid infrastructure. Innovative solutions can provide a way of managing these volatile energy flows using the transmission grid in its current form.
The rapid-to-deploy mobile solution offered by Smart Wires Inc. has the potential to achieve a greater degree of grid utilisation and therefore help maintain the high level of energy security that Austria currently enjoys. APG is initially trialling the mobile modular power flow control (MPFC) on a 220-kV substation line.
High-tech containerised solution for controlling electricity flows
Smart Wires Inc. is a global company that specialises in energy technology. Its vision is to support the transmission of affordable, clean energy throughout the world.
As part of a demonstration project with Smart Wires Inc., these new power electronics-based components were tested at an APG substation. Working in a similar way to that of existing phase-shifting transformers, the components, which are situated in a shipping container, produce a more even distribution of electricity flows in the present grid. The product is called SmartValve and is a modular SSSC (static synchronous series compensator) that is capable of dynamically combating congestion by proactively increasing or decreasing energy flows in a circuit. It means it can better control the transmission grid and reduce the number of costly redispatch measures that need to be taken to mitigate bottlenecks. This improves the integration of new renewable energies and loads, helps lower costs to our grid customers and safeguards the reliability of the power grid.
Adopting new solutions such as this enables APG to raise the quality and efficiency of the power grid to a new level. And it is by working in cooperation with its research partners that APG is able to create a common vision for a dynamic and more flexible power grid.