ELECTRA IRP is entering the project's final year

Wednesday 14 Jun 17


Mattia Marinelli
Associate Professor
DTU Electrical Engineering
+45 46 77 49 55


PowerLabDK Website

In February, ELECTRA successfully passed the third year review meeting with the European Commission Officer and external experts, and is now entering the final stage where simulations and experiments will prove pros and cons of the newly developed Web-of-Cells concept.

The EU Energy Strategy sets ambitious goals for the energy system of the future. These goals call for a significant increase in the share of renewable electricity production across countries.
ELECTRA is an Integrated Research Programme funded by the European Union. The purpose of the programme is to drive a closer integration of smart grid research projects in order to establish coherence between international efforts.

More specific, the ELECTRA IRP objective is to develop radically new control schemes for the real-time operation of the future power system. This will enable grid operators to ensure dynamic balance and stability in a future power system with high share of decentralised, renewable energy generation.

A new concept
For this matter the ELECTRA group has, among other things, developed a new concept called Web-of-Cells (WoC). The concept is a distributed real-time control concept, where the power system is divided in cells (relatively small geographical areas), and where all activity are dealt with in a distributed manner by cell system operators.
In contrast to the current control scheme, where system operators control large areas in a centralistic manner, the WoC concept is characterized by solving local problems locally and by transferring responsibility to smaller communities in a distributed manner.

In this web, the cells are connected to neighbouring cells via one or more tie-lines. You can think of them as grid-connected microgrids, except that they can be connected with other cells through more than one tie-line, and that there is no requirement for them to be self-reliant (i.e. no requirement for them to match their complete load with own local generation).

This final stage of the programme will centre on using lab simulations and experiments to evaluate the utilisation of flexibility in voltage and frequency of the control schemes.

Experimental activity aiming at proving the validity of the concept is ongoing among the different partner’s laboratories. Especially at DTU, different aspects of the WoC concept are under validation in SYSLAB, which is part of our large PowerLabDK platform.

Results from these experiments will soon be made available in the following manuscripts (currently under revision):

An analytical comparison between today Automatic Generation Control and the proposed Load Frequency Control in the WoC is proposed and supported by simulation and experimental results.
• A. M. Prostejovsky, M. Marinelli, M. Rezkalla, M. H. Syed, E. Guillo-Sansano, “Tuning-less Load Frequency Control Through Active Engagement of Distributed Resources,” Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on.

An argumentation of how a fast frequency control and a synthetic (virtual) inertia control can be implemented and validated, by employing single phase electric vehicles as flexibility resources in a 1-cell system.
• M. Rezkalla, A. Zecchino, S. Martinenas, A. M. Prostejovsky, M. Marinelli, “Comparison between Synthetic Inertia and Fast Frequency Containment Control on Single Phase EVs in a Microgrid,” Applied Energy.

Stay Updated

Other activities ongoing in the ELECTRA project can be found in the website and the latest newsletter where the project coordinator Luciano Martini highlights the main achievements.
In this newsletter, the main technical achievements are also summarized in an article by Helfried Brunner and further highlighted in the articles by Chris Caerts on the Web-of-Cells concept, and by Mattia Marinelli on the future control room aspects.

Last but not least, the ELECTRA team has established a strong link with Mission Innovation Challenge 1 on Smart Grids, as reported and discussed in the corresponding article by Luciano Martini.

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19 APRIL 2019